Hart, Brewers appear headed for hearing
Club, outfielder remain apart on salary for 2010
MILWAUKEE -- Corey Hart and the Brewers passed a deadline of sorts Friday without a contract compromise, and the club's chief negotiator said it appears likely that the team will end its long streak without an arbitration hearing.Hart, the Brewers' lone arbitration-eligible player still unsigned, filed for a $4.8 million salary in 2010. The team countered at $4.15 million. The Brewers wanted a deal by the end of business Friday, and club negotiator Teddy Werner and Hart's agent, Jeff Berry, had a series of discussions this week but were unable to reach an agreement. Arbitration hearings are scheduled for Feb. 1-21 in the Tampa-St. Petersburg area, and while both sides are barred from revealing the precise date, it's believed that Hart's is still several weeks away. Last year, negotiations with Hart went down to the wire before the sides struck a $3.25 million deal on the eve of a hearing. "We just don't have the appetite to go through that again," Werner said. "We made a good-faith effort to get something done a few weeks ahead of time, but at some point you've got to say, 'It's time to prepare for a case.' Nobody wants to go to a hearing, but I don't want to be in a position in a couple of weeks where we're back to where we are today, talking about the same number. To me, that's a waste of time for both sides. "Barring a drastic change in the landscape," Werner added, "we're probably going down to Tampa in a few weeks." Berry wrote in an e-mail on Thursday that Hart's salary submission and the midpoint between the player's filing and the team's, "are consistent with the established framework for other arbitration-eligible players with similar seasons." "We're not rooting for a hearing and we're not looking to break new ground," Berry wrote. "We simply want Corey to be compensated at the level which the salary-arbitration system has deemed appropriate."
|"If you look at this process historically, almost everybody gets a raise. It's just a matter of finding what amount is appropriate."|
-- Brewers negotiator|
Adam McCalvy is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.