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Arbitration update: Nothing yet



With less than two hours until the deadline, there's been no word of any deals yet. Having checked in so far with two of the four arbitration eligibles - SS Jason Bartlett, RHP Matt Garza, LHP J.P. Howell, CF B.J. Upton - it sounds like there will be one more "conversation" this morning, then final decisions will be made.

If there are no settlements by MLB's noon deadline to submit salary requests, it is the Rays' policy to proceed to hearings, which will take place in February, and can be contentious. Having had only three hearings in their first four seasons under exec VP Andrew Friedman, it would be an unusual move to not settle at least a few of these. (There is also precedent to file and head to a hearing per policy, but then agree negotiate a multi-year deal, as the Rays did in 2009 with Willy Aybar.)

Friedman said at 11 p.m. Monday they would talk until the deadline and remained "cautiously optimistic" of settling. The players are in line for large raises pretty much no matter what - Howell should get close to $2-million, Garza and Upton around $3-million, Bartlett around $4-million.

Each side has to submit a figure today, which are usually released later in the day. If they go to a hearing, the arbitrators pick one or the other.

[Last modified: Thursday, February 18, 2010 12:15am]


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