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Belt among five Giants to file for arbitration

Club VP/assistant GM Evans confident deals can be struck before hearings

Belt among five Giants to file for arbitration

SAN FRANCISCO -- In an anticipated formality, all five Giants eligible for salary arbitration filed Tuesday to enter the process, which virtually guarantees each player a significant raise.

Utility man Joaquin Arias (2013 salary: $925,000), infielder Tony Abreu ($498,000), first baseman Brandon Belt ($531,500), outfielder Gregor Blanco ($1.35 million) and right-hander Yusmeiro Petit ($500,000) comprise the list of arbitration-eligible Giants.

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After batting .289 with 17 home runs, 39 doubles and 67 RBIs in 150 games in 2013, Belt can be expected to quadruple his salary, at the very least.

The next step occurs Friday, when players and clubs exchange proposals for a one-year contract. According to procedure, each player to file is considered signed. But there's no set salary until a compromise is reached, before or after the player and his club exchange figures. If no settlement ensues, the case goes before an arbitration panel, which awards the player with either his salary proposal or the club's after each side states its case. Arbitration hearings are scheduled to begin on Feb. 1.

San Francisco avoided hearings with its six arbitration-eligible players last year. That group included catcher Buster Posey, who signed a nine-year, $167 million contract extension. Vice president and assistant general manager Bobby Evans sounded confident that the Giants again can make deals to avoid what is often an uncomfortable process. In fact, all 133 players who filed for arbitration last year settled with their respective clubs, thus precluding hearings.

Evans pointed out that the vast history of salary agreements for players comparable to those in arbitration simplify negotiations.

"We're prepared to use the hearing room if we need to to come to a settlement, but I think, for the most part, there's so much information out there nowadays that the hearing room is less and less needed in baseball, not just for us but for anybody," Evans said. "For agents and executives alike, if you're reasonable, there's room to make a deal."

Chris Haft is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Haft-Baked Ideas, and follow him on Twitter at @sfgiantsbeat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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