The Dodgers on Thursday hired Alex Tamin as Director of Baseball Contracts, Research, and Operations, essentially taking the role of Kim Ng, who left the Dodgers at the end of spring training to become a Senior VP of Baseball Operations with MLB. Tamin has been hired by various MLB teams in the past 15 years for arbitration cases, including working with the Dodgers.
Tamin, who got his law degree from UCLA in 1995, will work with General Manager Ned Colletti on all contract matters, and will be the lead person on all arbitration cases.
Ng famously helped the Dodgers to win their arbitration case with closer Eric Gagne in 2004 after the bespectacled reliever win the National League Cy Young Award the season before. The Dodgers could have another reigning Cy Young winner heading into arbitration this winter in Clayton Kershaw.
The Dodgers haven't actually gone to an arbitration hearing since 2007, when Ng and the Dodgers won their case against Joe Beimel. But just because a team doesn't see the inside of an arbitration hearing doesn't mean there isn't a lot of work going into it. There is a tremendous amount of research done by both sides even before filing a salary figure, and that work on the Dodgers' side will now be done in house by Tamin.
For a wonderful look inside the arbitration process, I recommend listening to an interview with John Coppolella of the Atlanta Braves, from earlier this year with Kevin Goldstein on the Baseball Prospectus Up & In podcast.
For the Dodgers, Tamin will also oversee the day-to-day baseball research and operations. "Alex will be a tremendous asset to the baseball operations staff," said Colletti. "His background has given him a wealth of experience in contract negotiation and arbitration cases and we think he adds an important element to our team."
Here's hoping Tamin's first orders of business are dotting the i's and crossing the t's on a pair of long-term extensions for Kershaw and Matt Kemp.