Sox prepping for Papi, Aceves arbitration cases

Sox prepping for Papi, Aceves arbitration cases

Sox prepping for Papi, Aceves arbitration cases
BOSTON -- Red Sox general manager Ben Cherington said that arbitration dates have been set for both Alfredo Aceves and David Ortiz, but he declined to specify those dates.

Teams and players typically prefer to avoid a hearing, if possible.

"I'd prefer not to make them public," Cherington said Monday night of the potential hearing dates. "We do [have them], and we're preparing for both. ... I think [Tuesday] is the first date they can be held. We do not have a hearing [Tuesday]. We'll get there. We have two cases, and we're preparing for them."

Arbitration hearings, which are heard in St. Petersburg, Fla., run from Tuesday through Feb. 21.

Ortiz, Boston's designated hitter, and Aceves, a right-hander who can pitch in the rotation and in relief, both present uncommon situations. Ortiz was very productive for a 35-year-old in 2011, posting a .309/.398/.554 line with 29 home runs. Meanwhile, an argument could be made that Aceves was the team's most effective pitcher, with a 10-2 record and 2.61 ERA in 114 innings.

The Red Sox have offered a $12.65 million salary to Ortiz, but he has asked for $16.5 million. Aceves has filed for $1.6 million, and the team requested $900,000. The club remains open to settlement discussions, Cherington said.

"We've had continued dialogue with both guys," Cherington said. "I couldn't handicap it right now. We're just going to prepare for the case. We're a team that will continue to talk right up until the hearing. We'll see what happens. Once you get past exchange, you have to at least prepare to go to the hearing, and that's what we're doing."

In the instance that both cases were to go to arbitration and Boston were also to lose both, the impact on the Sox would not be crippling, Cherington indicated. The difference between losing the cases and winning would be nearly $5 million.

Just how much the team wants to spend at this point in the offseason has come into question following the trade of starting shortstop Marco Scutaro.

"I don't think significant," Cherington said of the hearings' potential impact. "Sure, if you go to a hearing, there's a chance you win and there's a chance you lose. Depending on the outcome, it changes your payroll to some degree. To that extent, it can affect things a little bit, but I wouldn't say it's significant."

Evan Drellich is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @EvanDrellich. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.