ESPN's Jayson Stark says we're headed for a historic arbitration class. Players file today, and the dollar submissions become known on Tuesday. If the sides can't come to an agreement, they go to a hearing and an arbitrator chooses one of the two salary submissions. Be sure to read the article, but here are a few highlights.
- Ryan Howard's dad may be behind the player's unprecedented salary expectations. Howard may ask for $15-17MM in his second arbitration year. He could be a trade candidate in the 2009-10 offseason.
- Prince Fielder's numbers and accolades don't match up to Howard's, so Scott Boras may have difficulty matching Howard's first arb year record award of $10MM.
- Cole Hamels could ask for $5MM or more, but seems more amenable to a long-term deal than Howard. Will the Phillies offer him more than three years?
- Other interesting names: Jonathan Papelbon, Kevin Youkilis, Felix Hernandez, Dan Uggla, Zack Greinke, Justin Verlander, Russell Martin, B.J. Upton, Ryan Zimmerman, Jeff Francoeur, and Ervin Santana.
- Looking for a surprise summer trade candidate? Stark talked to one AL exec who wondered if Verlander could be made available if the Tigers are out of contention.
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