Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic reported last week that the Diamondbacks and second baseman Kelly Johnson had scheduled an arbitration hearing for Tuesday, February 15. According to Steve Gilbert of MLB.com, that was one day off.
The two sides have officially set up a hearing for Wednesday, February 16.
Johnson requested a $6.5 million salary and was offered $4.7 million when arbitration figures were exchanged last month. There hasn’t been much movement toward a middle ground, but that could change as the hearing date looms. Front office folks don’t like when cases go to arbitration hearings because the clubs are then forced to point out the shortcomings in one of their own players in order to try to win the decision. It can turn ugly, or at least unpleasant.
Johnson, 29 later this month, posted a strong .284/.370/.496 batting line last season for Arizona with a career-high 26 home runs and 71 RBI over 671 plate appearances. He earned $2.35 million.