Hardy heading for arbitration hearing

14 02 2008

J.J. Hardy and the Milwaukee Brewers have apparently been unable to agree to a compromise on a one-year contract for ’08. The arbitration hearing has already been set for Monday, and Melvin already has a plane ticket to St. Petersburg, FL to present his case to a third-party mediator.

This will be the first arbitration hearing for the Brewers since Doug Melvin took control over the club in September of 2002, according to Tom Haudricourt.

Hardy submitted a figure of $3.05M while the Brewers countered with $2.4M. I would be inclined to think that the arbitrator will side with Hardy on this case, as Hardy did make the NL All-Star squad last season and hit .277 with 26 homers and 80 RBI in 151 games. Hardy and his agent must have been incredibly unwilling to come down on their price, because Dave Bush was able to hammer out a deal need the midpoint of the two offers. Either way, arbitration hearings can signify strain in the relationship between a team and player, so let us hope that this is not the case in this situation. I highly doubt that’s the case, but Melvin did say the two sides are not even talking at this point.

On a side note, Haudricourt mentions that Chris Spurling signed a minor league deal today. He will report to the minor league facility right away, as he was not even invited to the big league camp this season. This is probably because he needs to learn a different pitch other than his sinker that hovers over the center of the plate. Spurling made 49 appearances for the Brewers last season, posting a 2-1 record with a 4.68 ERA.

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