Miami faces decisions on 8 arb-eligibles

Club hasn't budged from its 'file and trial' stance

Miami faces decisions on 8 arb-eligibles

MIAMI -- For eight Marlins players, including ace Jose Fernandez and All-Star second baseman Dee Gordon, the arbitration process is set to begin. Tuesday is the date eligible players officially file for arbitration.

To Miami, a more significant date is Friday, the arbitration salary exchange day. The organization has a longstanding policy of going straight to an arbitration hearing with players not signed by the deadline.

With a number of core players arbitration-eligible, it promises to be an active week on the signing front for the Marlins.

Along with Fernandez and Gordon, six other players are eligible for arbitration -- shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria, and right-handers A.J. Ramos, Bryan Morris, Carter Capps, David Phelps and Tom Koehler.

Of the group, only Gordon is in negotiations for a multiyear contract. The two sides are exploring several options. If a long-term deal isn't reached by Friday, they may agree to a figure for 2016 and still work toward an extension up until Opening Day. Once the season starts, players typically don't want to deal with contract talk.

All eight players are expected to be with the Marlins in 2016. It's their respective salaries that must be determined.

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If any of the group is unable to come to terms by Friday, talks technically could continue up until the start of each player's hearing. But Miami hasn't budged from its "file and trial" policy, unless it could eventually reach a multiyear agreement.

Arbitration hearings are scheduled from Feb. 1-21.

Last year, for instance, the Marlins were unable to sign reliever Mike Dunn prior to the exchange deadline. But before his scheduled hearing, Dunn agreed on a two-year deal.

It was a different story with Phelps, who had his salary in 2015 set by an arbitration panel. The right-hander filed at $1.875 million, but the decision went in favor of Miami, and Phelps made $1.4 million.

Phelps and Gordon are in the arbitration process for the second time, while the other six are filing for the first time.

According to, the projected salaries for the eight Marlins are: Fernandez ($2.2 million), Gordon ($5.9 million), Phelps ($2.5 million), Hechavarria ($2.3 million), Ramos ($2.8 million), Koehler ($3.9 million), Morris ($1.1 million) and Capps ($800,000).

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.