Leaning against salary arbitration

If Nick Johnson and Kiko Calero sign elsewhere in free agency, it doesn’t look like the Marlins will receive draft pick compensation in return.

The Marlins are leaning against offering arbitration to both Type B free agents. Tuesday is the deadline to extend arbitration to qualifying free agents. 

What offering arbitration would mean is if either of these players opt to sign with another club, the Marlins would receive a compensatory pick in the 2010 First-Year Player Draft. The choice would be a compensatory one, between the first and second rounds.

Johnson, the 31-year-old first baseman, made $5.5 million in 2009. If arbitration is to be extended to him, the figure would be higher, and the Marlins won’t take the risk that the veteran would accept it.

Free agents have until Dec. 7 to decide if they will accept arbitration.

Calero was a bargain at $500,000 in 2009, but the right-handed reliever is looking at a raise to perhaps more than $2 million on the open market.

The Marlins project to have a modest payroll in 2010, remaining close to the $36 million it worked with this year.

The South Florida SunSentinel reported the payroll will rise to close to $40 million. MLB.com has heard it will be about the same as in 2009, give or take a couple of million.

— Joe Frisaro


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