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Unable to come to terms on contracts before Friday’s 1 p.m. deadline, right-handers Tyler Clippard and Doug Fister and the Nationals formally filed dueling arbitration figures to Major League Baseball headquarters.
Hearings before a three-judge panel will be set for next month, though both players and the Nationals are free to continue negotiating and could settle on salary figures on their own anytime before then.
Clippard is in the third of four seasons of arbitration eligibility, having qualified as a "Super 2" player in 2012. He made $4 million last year and is seeking $6.35 million in 2014; the Nationals countered with an offer of $4.45 million.
Fister, acquired from the Tigers in December for Steve Lombardozzi, Ian Krol and Robbie Ray, is in the second of three arbitration seasons, having earned $4 million last year in Detroit. He is seeking an $8.5 million salary in 2014. The Nationals have offered $5.5 million, a significant gap.
Clippard and Fister were the only two of Washington’s 10 arbitration-eligible players who were unable to sign before Friday’s deadline. Ross Ohlendorf ($1.25 million) signed in December. Stephen Strasburg ($3.975 million) signed last week. Ross Detwiler ($3 million) signed late Thursday night. Jordan Zimmermann (2 years, $24 million), Ian Desmond (2 years, $17.5 million), Drew Storen ($3.45 million), Wilson Ramos ($2.095 million) and Jerry Blevins (unknown) all signed Friday before the deadline.