The hearing in Jose Bautista’s salary arbitration case with the Toronto Blue Jays has been set for Monday in Arizona, a major league source told FOXSports.com.
Barring a multiyear contract extension in the coming days, the sides will enter the hearing room with $2.9 million at stake. A panel of arbitrators will decide whether Bautista deserves the $10.5 million, one-year salary that he has requested, or the $7.6 million offered by the team.
Bautista, 30, is entering his final season before becoming eligible for free agency. He batted .260 last year with a major league-leading 54 home runs and 124 RBI. Because of the jump in his performance from 2009 to 2010, his arbitration case is one of the most intriguing this year among industry observers.
In adhering to team policy, the Blue Jays committed to the hearing with Bautista as soon as salary figures were exchanged in January. At this point, the only way to avoid Monday’s hearing would be for the sides to agree on a long-term extension. It’s not clear if the sides have made any recent progress in that area.
— Jon Paul Morosi