Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports
We mentioned a couple of weeks back that no Cleveland player has gone to arbitration since 1991. That streak ended when the team and Vinnie Pestano could not agree on a deal and went to the arbitrators table. And…it got ugly.
Apparently, the Tribe used the right-handed reliever’s own words against him during the hearing.
"Pestano was, however, caught off guard when the Indians used quotes he gave to reporters as fuel for their case. Quotes from a general manager, manager or player are fair game for both sides during an arbitration hearing and that tactic is relatively common. That did not make it any easier for Pestano — one of the team’s most media-friendly players — to hear his words used to support the team’s stance. “You’re being honest and accountable and saying the right things and being there,” Pestano said, “and then later you find your own words in the paper, and somebody is trying to use your words against you to drive your value down. Whether that played a big role in the decision, I don’t know. “That was the only thing that I didn’t care for. I definitely think it’ll affect how I see things going forward. I don’t really know if I can be as honest and up-front anymore. I’ve got three more years of arbitration left. I don’t know what they’ll pick to use against me next year or two years from now.” – Jordan Bastian, MLB.com"
Umm, ouch. While using words against each other during an arbitration hearing is nothing new, and both sides use the practice, it may give someone like Pestano pause before being forthcoming to the media. And in today’s digital age, it can be especially tricky. Pestano is one of the most active Cleveland Indians on Twitter and you wonder when tweets might be used as a bargaining chip for future hearings.
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