Marlins win Gregg arbitration case

Marlins win Gregg arbitration case

MIAMI -- Before three arbitrators on Monday in Arizona, Marlins reliever Kevin Gregg made his pitch for a $125,000 bump in salary.

The panel rejected that argument on Tuesday morning.

Based on the arbitration ruling, Gregg will earn $575,000 this season instead of the $700,000 he was seeking.

Gregg will now report to Spring Training with the rest of the pitchers and catchers on Saturday at Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter, Fla.

Acquired from the Angels for reliever Chris Resop, Gregg promises to play a pivotal role in the Marlins' bullpen. The 28-year-old is versatile enough to pitch in long relief and set up, and he will get a chance to win the vacant closer role.

Gregg broke in with the Angels in 2003, and he has three years and two days of Major League service time.

In 2006, he was 3-4 with a 4.14 ERA in 32 games. He made three starts and logged 78 1/3 innings, striking out 71 while walking 21.

The Marlins are hoping a closer emerges from within to replace Joe Borowski, who had 36 saves for Florida in 2006. Borowski signed as a free agent with the Indians this past offseason.

Now that Gregg's salary is set, the lone Marlin still in the arbitration process is three-time All-Star Miguel Cabrera.

Cabrera, with three years and 101 days of MLB service time, is in his first year of arbitration. The slugger's hearing is set for Friday.

Cabrera is seeking $7.4 million, while the Marlins are countering with $6.7 million. A year ago, Cabrera earned $472,000.

At 23, Cabrera already is one of the elite hitters in the game. He's a two-time Silver Slugger Award winner.

He set a club single-season record in 2006 with his .339 batting average, which was second in the National League to Pittsburgh's Freddy Sanchez.

Cabrera added 26 home runs and 114 RBIs and set a team mark with 50 doubles. He also scored 112 runs while collecting 195 hits.

Based on his service time, Cabrera is eligible to become a free agent after the 2009 season.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.