Stewart, Hammel exchange salary figures with Rockies
Third basemanand pitcher exchanged salary figures Tuesday with the Colorado Rockies, giving both sides negotiating parameters in the arbitration process.
Stewart, who made $408,000 last year, filed for $2.6 million, and the Rockies offered $2.15 million. That resulted in a midpoint of $2.375 million, the area where an agreement for one year is likely to be reached. Stewart is arbitration eligible for the first time by virtue of being a Super 2 player. His 2 years, 154 days of big league service time put Stewart in the top 17 percent of players with less than 3 years of service time, the cutoff to determine Super 2 players.
Hammel filed for $3.7 million, while the Rockies offered $3.1 million, creating a $3.4 million midpoint. Hammel ended up with a $1.9 million salary in 2010 after being arbitration eligible for the first time a year ago.
History suggests the Rockies will settle with Stewart and Hammel, since the club has only had three arbitration hearings in its history. The Rockies lost to left-handed pitcher Dennys Reyes in 2002 ($900,000 asked, $700,000 offered) and beat right-handed pitcher Sun-Woo Kim in 2006 ($800,000 asked, $600,000 offered) and left-handed pitcher Brian Fuentes in 2008 ($6.5 million asked, $5.05 million offered).
Before Tuesday’s exchange of salary figures, the Rockies struck deals with pitchers($2.35 million), (2 years, $6.6 million) and ($790,000), their other three arbitration-eligible players.
Stewart and Hammel were among 34 of 119 eligible players who exchanged figures with their clubs this year. Hearings are scheduled for Feb. 1-21 in front of three-person panels that choose either the club’s or the player’s figure. Hence, in any case that goes to a hearing, the panel must decide the player is worth $1 above the mid-point for the player to win and $1 dollar below the mid-point for the club to prevail. Even when a hearing is scheduled, the two sides can keep negotiating up to the start of the hearing.