Arbitration requests are starting come in fast and furious now. Let's take a look two of the highest profile requests that didn't get reconciled today.
- According to SI's Jon Heyman, AL MVP Josh Hamilton has requested a hefty $12M salary in his second season of arbitration-eligibility. Last season, he made $3.25M, so this represents a pretty sizable raise for Hamilton. The Rangers have countered with $8.7M. This one could go down to the wire, but many insiders see the two sides meeting somewhere in the middle. For Texas's case, I hope so. If this one makes it to arbitration, I see Hamilton having a 75% chance of winning his case. The guy hit .359/.411/.633 last season while displaying solid base running skills, and an ability to play all three outfield positions.
- According to Gregor Chisolm of mlb.com, Jose Bautista is requesting an eye-popping $10.5M in his final year of arbitration-eligibility. This one is going to be a very interesting case. Bautista came out of nowhere last season, hitting 54 home runs. (For the record, he'd hit 59 home runs in his previous four-plus seasons.) While no one expects to see Bautista provide an encore performance in 2011, many can see him being a consistent 30-35 home run hitter for the next few years. While I can't find the Blue Jays counteroffer at the moment, my guess is that it's around $6.5-8.0M. Despite his huge season last year, I think there's a 50/50 chance the arbitrator sides with the Blue Jays on this one. Bautista only made $2.4M last year, so his $10.5M request represents nearly a 400% salary increase.