rays, smyly $550K apart in arbitration
The Rays and lefty pitcher Drew Smyly argued baseball's first arbitration case Wednesday in Phoenix over a difference of $550,000.
A three-member panel will announce a decision today between the Rays' offer of $3.2 million for this season and Smyly's request for $3.75 million.
Either way, Smyly gets a solid raise from the $2.65 million he made last season while making only 12 starts due to a shoulder injury that landed him on the disabled list twice. Smyly finished 5-2 with a 3.11 earned-run average.
The Rays, who were represented by senior vice president general counsel John Higgins, are 6-0 in arbitration hearings.
Fifteen other major-league players remain in arbitration.
MORE RAYS: The team signed RHP Adam Reifer to a minor-league deal with an invitation to spring camp. Reifer, 29, spent last season pitching in Mexico after spending most of the previous four at the Triple-A level in the St. Louis, Miami and San Francisco organizations.
Blue Jays: The team is installing a dirt infield at the Rogers Centre for the first time. Work will begin next week to excavate about 12,000 square feet of concrete. The infield and baselines will be dug out to a depth of 12 inches and filled with layers of gravel, sand and clay. Toronto and the Rays, who both play in the American League East, are the only major-league teams with artificial surfaces at their home ballparks. At Tropicana Field, the infield and baselines are dirt.
Mets: The team settled its last salary arbitration case, agreeing to a $4.1 million, one-year contract with closer Jeurys Familia.
Federer out after knee surgery
Roger Federer had knee surgery for a torn meniscus and will miss tournaments in Rotterdam, Netherlands, and Dubai this month.
A statement on his website said the injury happened Friday, one day after his Australian Open semifinal loss to Novak Djokovic. It didn't say how the injury happened or which knee was hurt.
"My doctors have (assured) me that the surgery was a success and with proper rehabilitation I will be able to return to the tour soon," Federer, 34, said in the statement.
His next scheduled tournament is in Indian Wells, Calif., starting March 7.
Soccer: Luis Suarez scored four goals and Lionel Messi had a hat trick as host Barcelona defeated 10-man Valencia 7-0 to move into position to reach Spain's Copa del Rey final for the third straight season. Valencia played the second half a man down after defender Shkodran Mustafi was sent off for fouling Messi in a play that resulted in a penalty kick, which Neymar missed. … Newcastle lost 3-0 at Everton to stay third from the bottom of the English Premier League standings. Chelsea tied host Watford 0-0 to go unbeaten in nine games under interim coach Guus Hiddink, but it is in 13th place. … U.S. midfielder Stuart Holden, 30, is retiring after being sidelined by knee injuries for most of the past four years.
Marc Topkin, Times staff writer; Times wires