Vance Worley Wins Arbitration Case

Pitcher Vance Worley won his arbitration case against the Pittsburgh Pirates on Monday. The announcement came on Tuesday afternoon with Jon Heyman reporting the results first. The Pirates won their case against second baseman Neil Walker on Friday and Pedro Alvarez still needs to go to his arbitration hearing.  Worley will make $2.45M in 2015, after making $527,500 last year. He qualified for super-two this off-season, which means he will go to arbitration three more times before free agency. The Pirates losing offer to Worley  was $2M.

Worley had a 2.85 ERA in 110.2 innings in 2014, making 17 starts and one relief appearance. That was after posting a 7.21 ERA in ten starts for the Minnesota Twins last year. The Pirates purchased his contract from the Twins at the end of Spring Training and he made seven starts in AAA before joining the big league club.

John started working at Pirates Prospects in 2009, but his connection to the Pittsburgh Pirates started exactly 100 years earlier when Dots Miller debuted for the 1909 World Series champions. John was born in Kearny, NJ, two blocks from the house where Dots Miller grew up. From that hometown hero connection came a love of Pirates history, as well as the sport of baseball.

When he didn't make it as a lefty pitcher with an 80+ MPH fastball and a slider that needed work, John turned to covering the game, eventually focusing in on the prospects side, where his interest was pushed by the big league team being below .500 for so long. John has covered the minors in some form since the 2002 season, and leads the draft and international coverage on Pirates Prospects. He writes daily on Pittsburgh Baseball History, when he's not covering the entire system daily throughout the entire year on Pirates Prospects.

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I think 2.45M for Worley is a bargain. It’s not like he had just one good year. He was a solid guy then got hurt and fell apart a little then got healthy and got it back. He is my kind of pitcher too. Tough and throws strikes and if he gets hit around he sticks to the plan. He is awesome to have in the middle to back of your rotation and the type of guy who rubs off on the other guys because of his mental toughness and approach.

Bucs Stop Here

Good season gains a near 500% pay increase. Seems out of whack considering a bad season can earn only a 25% decrease. I hope he continues to pitch well but the system is screwed up.


The system artificially decreases player salaries. If gerrit cole was a free agent, he would make a lot more than 500 thousand next year. The arbitration system certainly is not screwed up in the players favor

Bucs Stop Here

The system does not decrease anything, it actually provides opportunities that are few and far between in standard society. HUGE salaries, huge bonuses LIKE $8 million for Gerrit Cole. (your bad example) Regardless of performance players receive a raise each year, not typical. MLB owners and Unions have agreed to the rules to create order and a touch of sanity, otherwise your hot dog would be $10.00 and your $12.00 beer would be $25.00. And Cole might make more than $500K a year in an open market but if only based on potential, because his performance has been mediocre at best. No tears for any MLB players, they ALL have it great!


Also, the arbitration system in no way provides the opportunities you suggest it does. A player from a foreign country who is not subject to the draft, who had cole`s talent , would easily surpass an eight million dollar bonus.


The hot dog would not cost ten dollars because if they could charge ten bucks for a hot dog and increase revenue THEY WOULD ALREADY DO IT. The price of concessions is not going to increase unless the team thinks that the price increase will offset the decrease in total hot dog sales that the higher prices would bring. That has nothing to do with the team payroll.

Bucs Stop Here

It’s too bad you don’t have the ability to understand hyperbole.


It’s too bad you don’t understand economics and that payroll expenses do determine pricing. I get that you were exaggerating by using 25 dollar beers, but your point would have been equally wrong whether you used hyperbole or not….

John Lease

450K LESS payroll flexibility! Good thing I was seated.


Trolling again I see. SMFH at your comments.


After all these years of the arbitration process, I would think the FO was relatively immune to losing the occasional case. Honestly, I think the FO should reconsider its file and trial practice. I suspect they will lose to Pedro too, in which case they would have come out almost exactly even if they had settled at the midpoint of all 3 cases. And there would have been a whole lot less ill will generated.

The organization is acquiring a reputation for being a very player-friendly organization, and taking arb cases to a hearing are a good way to lose some of that goodwill.


It’s just business. The teams, agents, and players know this. It’s nothing personal. To me arbitration is only a huge deal when you have guys that get good quickly and become superstars during arbitration and then there can be a huge disparity in the numbers that get submitted from each side. If they lose to Pedro the arbitrator is on drugs. He lost value having to be moved off of 3rd base, and I just saw some stat where he was 8-80 with 40 K’s against breaking pitches last year. That does not bode well moving forward. I can’t wait until he’s gone.


You are missing the point. There is no way they can get to a ” mid point “. If Worley was asking for $ 2.45+ and they were offering $ 2.00, do you think he was going to settle for less than the number he was going to file ? At the time of the filing, there would be a very small chance of negotiating down from the player’s number, that is the reason orginizations are adopting that method.


Your implied assumption is that *the player* would also be willing to settle at the even point. Could be true, but far from given.

A half million bucks in Year 1 for a Super-2 player could turn into well over an additional $3m in the aggregate, depending on how much the player’s salary escalates.


Good point NMR. In my comment above I mention 1 year not being that important but if a team continues to lose against a player money can steamroll…but I think for the most part it evens out. I’m sure some enterprising young nerd with more time out there has the numbers on that too.


Sorry NMR for commenting above where I basically said the same thing as you do here. I didn’t see it till I dropped mine.


If it means giving any player any amount of money that they ask for is the key to a “player-friendly organization”, then I hope the Pirates are never viewed as a player-friendly organization.

In addition to wanting money and playing time, the biggest thing a player wants is, hopefully, to play on a winner. For the Pirates to continue to be a winner and to sign players to short-term and long-term contracts, they need to be fiscally prudent.

Players should want to play on the Pirates because they have a winning team, that’s committed to being a winner for an extended period of time.

If they only want to come to the Pirates because “they’ll always give you what you ask for”, then those aren’t the types of players that you want playing here.


Thanks for a nice season Vance!


I would love for Vance to pitch well enough to make it impossible to boot him from the rotation. A rotation of Cole, Liriano, Burnett, Morton and Vanimal sounds good to me!


On no, Vanimal has killed any “good will” with the Pirates for a future extension!!!

Oh wait, no, that was Walker…or something.

Oh, yeah, forgot, this baseball thing is a business.


I heard some kittens were eaten by a wild animal today. Not sure if the Vanimal was involved though.


I think that was the Manimal 🙂


Among Pirates starters Worley will be second behind Cole in wins / $ .


p: 8-4, 2.85 ERA – numbers that stand out and are the type of numbers that we should get from a No. 2 guy in the Rotation. He earned it – as KGB said, “Give that man his money”.

Now, if Worley validates in 2015 and Ground Chuck keeps coming up short, we may see a wholesale change sometime in 2015 that might also include both Taillon and Kingham.


Love the rounders reference!


The line is “Pay that man his money” :0)

And there are rumors that a sequel is being made.


I’ve heard the rumors, I just hope they can retain the majority of the original cast.

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