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More than 200 eligible for arbitration

More than 200 eligible for arbitration

More than 200 Major Leaguers will potentially be eligible for salary arbitration this offseason, including several All-Stars from last season such as Tim Lincecum, Felix Hernandez, Justin Verlander, Jonathan Papelbon, Josh Hamilton, Shane Victorino and Josh Johnson.

Officially, 209 players are potentially eligible for arbitration because they fit the criteria of having three or more years of service, but fewer than six years, or qualify for Super-Two status -- which stipulates that the top 17 percent of players with at least two, and fewer than three, years of service time are eligible for arbitration.

Noted Super Twos include Lincecum, Rays pitcher Matt Garza, Royals third baseman Alex Gordon, Rockies pitcher Jason Hammel, Astros outfielder Hunter Pence, Giants closer Brian Wilson and newly acquired Brewers outfielder Carlos Gomez.

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Other notable arbitration-eligible players include Angels pitcher Jered Weaver, Padres closer Heath Bell, Rays center fielder B.J. Upton and shortstop Jason Bartlett, Mariners center fielder Franklin Gutierrez, Tigers pitcher Edwin Jackson, Marlins second baseman Dan Uggla, Rockies pitcher Jorge De La Rosa and Rangers pitcher Scott Feldman.

The Dodgers could be the team hit the hardest by arbitration as key players such as Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier, George Sherrill, Chad Billingsley, Russell Martin, James Loney, Hong-Chi Kuo and Jonathan Broxton are all eligible for arbitration this offseason.

Teams have until Dec. 12 to decide whether they will tender a contract to potential arbitration-eligible players, and if a player is tendered a contract he can file for arbitration between Jan. 5 and Jan. 15.

Players and clubs then both submit contract offers on Jan. 19, and if they can't reach an agreement, it reaches a three-panel arbitration hearing held between Feb. 1 and Feb. 21.

The arbitration hearings are rare, but if it does go to a hearing it generally favors the club. Of the 487 salary arbitration cases that have been heard since it was implemented in MLB in 1974, owners have won 280 of the 487 cases heard, or 57 percent.

Last season, 111 players filed for salary arbitration and 46 players exchanged salary figures with their club. Only three went to a hearing, as Uggla and the Nationals' Shawn Hill won their cases while the Rays' Dioner Navarro lost his case.

Players can also avoid arbitration in coming years by signing multiyear contracts with their club, such as Nick Markakis' 6-year, $61 million contract with the Orioles and Ryan Howard's three-year, $54 million contract with the Phillies that were both signed last offseason.

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

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