Pittsburgh Pirates' starting pitcher Ross Ohlendorf won his arbitration case against his team, despite going 1-11 during the 2010 season.
Pittsburgh's initial offer to Ohlendorf was $1.4 million, but the pitcher will make $2.025 million in 2011, even though he compiled a 4.07 ERA, a 1.385 WHIP, and finished ten games under .500 in 21 starts.
The Pirates have become the butt of a joke as a result of the arbiters' ruling, but as Yahoo! Sports' David Brown points out, arbitration panels take a player's entire career into account, as well as the relative salaries of other players with similar service time. In 2009, Ohlendorf had a 3.92 ERA and finished 11-10--a wildly different record without having pitched much differently.
According to advanced baseball statistics, a pitcher's won-loss record is less of a concern for teams than statistics like the number of strike outs the pitcher records, or his ground-ball to fly-ball ratio. Ohlendorf has proven to merely be a serviceable back-of-the-rotation starter. But for a little over $2 million, the cash-strapped Pirates will still be paying just below market price for his services.