Beimel, Paul first two players in arbitration hearings

Updated: February 9, 2007, 8:05 PM ET
Associated Press

Los Angeles Dodgers reliever Joe Beimel and Tampa Bay backup catcher Josh Paul became the first two players to go to salary arbitration hearings this year.

Paul asked arbitrators Richard Bloch, Robert Bailey and Christine Knowlton for a raise from $475,000 to $940,000. The Devil Rays argued for $625,000 during Friday morning's hearing in Phoenix.

Paul hit .260 with one homer and eight RBIs in 146 games last season but he is most known for a play the previous year. While Paul was playing for the Los Angeles Angels during the 2005 playoffs, umpire Doug Eddings ruled he did not glove Kelvim Escobar's pitch before it hit the ground, allowing A.J. Pierzynski to reach base as the White Sox rallied in the ninth inning of Game 2. The White Sox went on to tie the series and win their first World Series since 1917.

During the afternoon hearing, Beimel asked arbitrators Stephen Goldberg, Elizabeth Neumeier and John Sands for a raise from $425,000 to $1.25 million. The Dodgers countered at $912,500. A left-hander who turns 30 in April, Beimel was 2-1 with a 2.96 ERA and two saves in 62 appearances last year.

Decisions on the cases are expected this weekend. Owners won four of six cases last year and lead players 269-200 since arbitration began in 1974.

Baltimore center fielder Corey Patterson, who had been scheduled for a Feb. 19 hearing, agreed to a $4.3 million, one-year contract.

Twelve players among the 106 who filed last month remain scheduled for hearings, which run through Feb. 20, a group that includes Florida third baseman Miguel Cabrera, Washington closer Chad Cordero, Minnesota catcher Joe Mauer and Chicago Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press