Work still to be done in arbitration cases
|Ben and Skin pose the question: Who would you rather give a long-term deal too, Dez Bryant or Josh Hamilton. |
The toughest case might be catcher Mike Napoli. The club and Napoli exchanged figures last month and were $3.2 million apart. Napoli had the best season of his career (.320 average, 30 HRs, 75 RBIs and he certainly would have been the World Series MVP had the Rangers won) and asked for $11.5 million with the club offering $8.3 million. Napoli's hearing date is Feb. 15.
But Napoli isn't the only arbitration case unresolved to this point. Elvis Andrus' hearing is scheduled for Thursday in Tampa, Fla., with Andrus (represented by Scott Boras) wanting $3.6 million and the club countering with $2.65 million. Cruz, who has a hearing date set for Feb. 17, is asking for $7.5 million and the club's exchange figure was $5.5 million.
"I feel that we’ve had healthy, productive, amicable dialogue with the agents," Levine said. "And while we don’t have deals, which means there’s still a gap that needs to be bridged, we are talking, which is tantamount to getting deals done."
The club and player have until the hearing begins to reach an agreement (even in the room before the hearing starts, they could reach a deal). If there is a hearing, a three-person panel will listen to presentations from each side and pick either the club's number or the player's number. They won't pick a number in between.
But Andrus is on the clock first. We'll see if they can strike a deal before Thursday's hearing.
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