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Paps among Red Sox to file for arbitration

Paps among Red Sox to file for arbitration

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BOSTON -- While most of general manager Theo Epstein's offseason business is finished, there are still some contractual matters to work through. Jonathan Papelbon, Manny Delcarmen, Ramon Ramirez and Jeremy Hermida all filed for arbitration on Friday.

If the Red Sox can't agree to new contracts with those players by Tuesday, the sides will exchange salary arbitration figures.

However, the sides can still come to an agreement before a hearing is necessary. Arbitration hearings will take place between Feb. 1-21.

More often than not, a contract is worked out before arbitration comes to fruition. This is Epstein's seventh offseason with the Red Sox, and he has never gone to arbitration.

Lefty reliever Hideki Okajima would have been arbitration-eligible, but he agreed with the Sox on a one-year, $2.75 million deal on Thursday.

Most noteworthy among Boston's arbitration-eligible players is Papelbon, the perennial All-Star closer who earned $6.25 million last season. The righty signed his 2009 contract on Jan. 20 of that year.

Papelbon is Boston's all-time saves leader with 151. Delcarmen and Ramirez are also key pieces to manager Terry Francona's bullpen. This is the first time Delcarmen has been eligible for arbitration. He struggled mightily in the second half of 2009, bringing his ERA for the season up to 4.53. But he has generally been a dependable pitcher during his time in the Majors.

Last year was Ramirez's first in Boston, and he went 7-4 with a 2.84 ERA in 70 appearances. Hermida is entering his first season with the Sox. He has played 516 games in the Majors, all for the Florida Marlins, hitting .265 with 57 homers and 210 RBIs.

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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