Catcher seeks $1.3 million

Updated: February 19, 2010, 1:25 AM ET
By Mark Saxon | ESPNLosAngeles.com

TEMPE, Ariz. -- Angels catcher Jeff Mathis missed the first workout of the spring Thursday in order to attend his arbitration hearing in Tampa, Fla.

Mathis, 26, is seeking a salary of $1.3 million, while the Angels are countering with an offer of $700,000. Arbitrators should have a decision by the end of the day, and Mathis is expected to fly to Arizona in time for Friday's workout.

Mathis is the defensive specialist in the Angels' catching platoon with slugger Mike Napoli. He batted .211 with five home runs and 28 RBIs last year, though he had some crucial postseason hits.

Also, shortstop Erick Aybar reached agreement on a one-year contract of $2.05 million, avoiding an arbitration hearing.

Aybar also will receive $50,000 bonuses for 575 plate appearances and 625 plate appearances. He batted .312 and scored 70 runs in 556 plate appearances last year while playing some of the best defense in the league.

Mark Saxon covers the Angels from ESPNLosAngeles.com

Mark Saxon

ESPNLosAngeles.com
Mark Saxon is a staff writer for ESPNLosAngeles.com. He spent six years at the Orange County Register, and began his career at the Oakland Tribune, where he started an 11-year journey covering Major League Baseball. He has also covered colleges, including USC football and UCLA basketball.

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