Friday, January 30, 2004

Reds won't split difference with pitcher

An agent for Reds pitcher Chris Reitsma said Thursday he has offered to negotiate with the team around a "middle area" in an attempt to reach a settlement before next week's arbitration hearing.

"There's nothing wrong with one or both sides filing a number, sticking to it and having a hearing," said Brian Goldberg, one of Reitsma's Cincinnati-based agents. "However, we've repeatedly offered to negotiate a settlement around the middle area and they have rejected it."

Reitsma's agents filed for $1.45 million while the Reds filed at $950,000. The "middle area" would be around $1.2 million.

The arbitration hearing is scheduled for Feb. 5 in Phoenix.

"We are willing to negotiate," said Brad Kullman, Reds director of major league operations. "But we feel we have made a fair offer and that based on the nature of the arbitration process, the mid-point of these two figures is not an accurate placement for Chris' 2004 salary."

Reitsma made $350,000 last season when he led the Reds with nine wins.

Kevin Kelly

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