LOS ANGELES -- Six Dodgers filed for salary arbitration Friday plus Matt Kemp, whose two-year, $10.95 million contract agreement became official when he passed a physical exam after the filing deadline. Filing in addition to Kemp were pitchers Jonathan Broxton, Hong-Chih Kuo and George Sherrill, outfielder Andre Ethier, catcher Russell Martin and first baseman James Loney. Exiting the arbitration process hours before Kemp was Chad Billingsley, who signed a one-year contract for $3.85 million earlier in the day.
The filings are procedural, reserving the players' right to have their salary determined by an arbitration panel if an agreement with the club is not reached. Players and the team exchange salary figures Tuesday and, should the case go to a hearing, the panel would select one number or the other, nothing in between. For that reason, the exchange of numbers generally frames the case and results in a settlement. The Dodgers, in fact, are already discussing two-year deals with Broxton and Ethier. A two-year deal was discussed with Loney, but is less likely than for the other two. Broxton, Kuo and Loney are eligible for salary arbitration for the first time. Broxton, who earned $1.925 million last year and his first All-Star berth, is in line for a raise well above the $4 million San Diego's Heath Bell just received. Broxton finished the season 7-2 with a 2.61 ERA and 36 saves, sixth in the league. His 114 strikeouts tied for the third-highest total for a Dodgers reliever, and he led league relievers in opponents' batting average (.165). Kuo, who earned $437,000 last year, went 2-0 with a 3.00 ERA and missed two months with a sore elbow and a case of the yips. But once he returned he was lights-out with a 2.19 ERA after the All-Star break pitching primarily in the seventh inning. Sherrill, who earned $2.75 million last year, was even better than Kuo. Acquired from Baltimore on July 30, he allowed only two earned runs in 27 2/3 innings with the Dodgers after having already saved 20 games for the Orioles. Combined, he had a 0.85 ERA after the All-Star break. Ethier is in line for the highest salary of the group after earning $3.2 million in 2009, when he established career highs with 31 homers, 42 doubles, 106 RBIs, 72 walks, 92 runs and 160 games played. He was sixth in the league in RBIs and tied for fifth in doubles. He became just the fourth Dodger with at least 30 homers and 40 doubles, joining Babe Herman (1930), Raul Mondesi (1997) and Eric Karros (1999). Ethier also had a flair for the dramatic, leading the Major Leagues with six walk-off hits, including an MLB-leading four walk-off homers that tied the Major League record also held by Jimmie Foxx (1940) and Roy Sievers (1957). His 22 homers at Dodger Stadium are a Los Angeles single-season record for a left-handed hitter. Martin, who earned $3.9 million in 2009, is coming off his second down season, having hit .250 with seven homers and 53 RBIs while throwing out 25.3 percent of potential basestealers. Although he played 12 fewer games than in 2008, he still led the Major Leagues in innings caught. Loney, who earned $465,000 in 2009, virtually duplicated his previous season by hitting .281 with 13 homers and 90 RBIs, ranking third on the club in run production.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.