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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Thursday, February 11, 2010

MLB: Brewers' Hart becomes first this year to go to arbitration

Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. Outfielder Corey Hart has become the first player on the Milwaukee Brewers to go to arbitration in 12 years.

Hart asked a panel of arbitrators Thursday for a raise from $3.25 million to $4.8 million, and the Brewers argued for $4.15 million.

In the first case in the major leagues to go to a hearing this year, arbitrators Elizabeth Neumeier, John Sands and Sylvia Skratek are expected to issue a ruling on Friday. Eleven additional players are scheduled for hearings through next week.

Hart hit .260 with 12 homers and 48 RBIs last season.

The previous Milwaukee player to go to a hearing had been Jose Mercedes, awarded $1.05 million in 1998 by Roger Abrams, Jerome Ross and Gil Vernon rather than the team's offer of $615,000. Mercedes had gone 7-10 with a 3.79 ERA in 23 starts and six relief appearances the previous season.

Players won two of three hearings last year, their first winning record since going 7-3 in 1996. Last year tied the record for fewest hearings in a year, set in 2005.

Owners hold a 280-207 margin in cases that have gone to hearings since arbitration began in 1974.

Still scheduled for hearings are: Los Angeles Angels shortstop Erick Aybar, Washington right-hander Brian Bruney, Nationals left-hander Sean Burnett, Baltimore right-hander Jeremy Guthrie, Arizona right-hander Edwin Jackson, San Francisco right-hander Tim Lincecum, Angels catcher Jeff Mathis, Houston left-hander Wandy Rodriguez, Florida outfielder Cody Ross, Chicago Cubs shortstop Ryan Theriot and Tampa Bay outfielder B.J. Upton.

Lincecum, a two-time NL Cy Young Award winner, has asked for a raise from $650,000 to an arbitration record $13 million. San Francisco has offered $8 million.