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Bell among six Padres up for arbitration

Bell among six Padres up for arbitration

Bell among six Padres up for arbitration
SAN DIEGO -- After addressing several needs through trades and free agency this winter, the Padres will now turn their attention to their arbitration-eligible players.

The Padres have six remaining players who are arbitration-eligible: outfielder Ryan Ludwick, pitchers Heath Bell, Tim Stauffer and Mike Adams, third baseman Chase Headley and shortstop Jason Bartlett.

"We have a lot of guys," said Padres general manager Jed Hoyer, who indicated that one of his biggest priorities now is getting deals done with these five players.

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Teams and arbitration-eligible players can begin to file for arbitration Wednesday and up until Jan. 15 as the first part of the process that determines players' salaries for the 2011 season.

If teams and players don't reach an agreement by Jan. 18, they exchange salary figures. If the sides don't reach a deal by the end of the month, a February hearing in front of a panel of arbitrators will take place to choose between the two proposals. Those hearings are to take place between Feb. 1-21.

Hoyer said he's hoping to avoid exchanging of figures.

"Hopefully, we can get them done before the exchange date," Hoyer said.

Bell, a two-time All-Star who had a career-high 47 saves last season, figures to be in for a substantial raise from the $4 million he made a year ago. Bell will be eligible for free agency after the 2011 season.

Ludwick, obtained last July from the Cardinals before the Trade Deadline, hit .211 with six home runs and 26 RBIs in 59 games with the Padres. He made $5.45 million last season and will be eligible for free agency after this season.

Stauffer, who figures to be an important piece in the starting rotation, was 6-5 with a 1.85 ERA between long relief and the rotation. Stauffer, who made $415,000 last season, is in his first season as being arbitration-eligible.

Adams, considered one of the premier setup pitchers in the National League, had a 1.76 ERA in 70 games last season. Adams made $1 million last season in his first year of being eligible for arbitration.

Headley presents an interesting case because he had qualified for Super 2 status after two-plus seasons in the Major Leagues.

Headley is one of several players who has Major League service time that ranks in the highest 17 percent of players with fewer than the usual arbitration threshold of three years

Headley has two years and 123 days of Major League service time, which means that he becomes eligible for free agency a year early -- by one day.

Headley, who made $427,700 last season and likely would have earned about $450,000 in 2011 if he hadn't qualified as a Super 2, could potentially earn around $2 million, depending on if he opts to go through the arbitration process.

Bartlett, who was obtained last month from the Rays, is due a raise after making $4 million last season.

The Padres made a pre-arbitration deal last month with outfielder Chris Denorfia, signing him to a one-year deal for $800,000. Denorfia is expected to be the fourth outfielder for the Padres in 2011.

Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. Keep track of @FollowThePadres on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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