MLB hires Mark Irvings as independent arbitrator

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Friday, June 16, 2017

NEW YORK -- Mark Irvings has been picked to replace Fredric Horowitz as Major League Baseball's independent arbitrator, a person familiar with the decision told The Associated Press.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity Thursday because Irvings' hiring was not announced by MLB or the Major League Baseball Players Association, which jointly made the decision.

The independent arbitrator chairs a three-person panel that decides grievances and appeals of drug suspensions. The panel also includes one representative of MLB and one of the union.

Irvings, who turned 68 last week, has heard baseball salary arbitration cases for the past six years. He was a member of three-person panels that decided in favor of Toronto pitcher Jesse Chavez (2016), Oakland outfielder Khris Davis (2017) and New York Mets infielder Wilmer Flores (2017), and against Tampa Bay pitcher Jeff Niemann (2012), Cleveland pitcher Vinnie Pestano (2014) and Oakland Jarrod Parker (2015).

Horowitz was baseball's neutral arbitrator from June 2012 until he was fired by the players' association last fall when he ruled against the union in an injury assignment case involving Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Charlie Culberson.

Horowitz replaced Shyam Das, who had held the position from 1999 until he was fired by management following his decision to overturn Ryan Braun's 50-game suspension for a positive drug test. In Horowitz's most notable decision, he reduced Alex Rodriguez's 211-game suspension to 162 games, a penalty imposed for violations of baseball's drug agreement and labor contract.