|Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista celebrates after scoring against the Rays in St. Petersburg, Florida on August 31, 2010. (SCOTT AUDETTE/Reuters)
DUNEDIN — With just two days remaining before their scheduled arbitration hearing, the Blue Jays and Jose Bautista are no closer to a long-term contract.
Bautista, through his agent Bean Stringfellow, informed the Blue Jays earlier this winter that, if the case went to a hearing, no further long-term negotiations would take place until the end of the 2011 season when Bautista is set to become a free agent.
To this point, the subject of a long-term deal between the team and the player has not been discussed. For arbitration purposes, the Blue Jays have offered $7.6 million US and Bautista, who hit a team-record 54 home runs in 2010, is seeking $10.5 million.
The hearing is scheduled to take place in Arizona on Monday and, after listening to arguments from both sides, the arbitrator must choose one figure or the other, with no provision for compromise.