Shawn Hill got the players off to a good start in the arbitration process, winning his case against the Washington Nationals. Hill was granted the $775 thousand he had asked for when arbitrators rejected the Nationals request to put his pay at $500 thousand for 2009.
Meanwhile, Scott Olsen reached a one-year deal with the Nationals, agreeing on a $2.8 million deal, much closer to the $2.5 million the Nationals had submitted than the $3.5 million Olsen's agent requested.
Hill missed most of last season, going on the DL June 24 and not returning to the rotation. In September, Hill had arthroscopic surgery performed on his elbow by famed orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews. Hill went 1-5, 5.83 in 12 starts for the Nationals last season.
The day after Hill's win was announced, the Nationals signed Olsen to his deal for 2009. The Nationals acquired Olsen from the Marlins in November, partly because Florida didn't want to deal with the potential raises that all of their arbitration eligible players could have received through the process. Olsen was traded along with another arbitration eligible player, Josh Willingham, for pitcher P.J. Dean and infielders Emilio Bonifacio and Jake Smolinski.
Willingham's case has yet to be heard. The Nationals also have third baseman Ryan Zimmerman eligible for arbitration and have reportedly had very preliminary discussions with him about a long-term deal.
Willingham is requesting $3.6 million through arbitration, compared to the $2.55 million that the Nationals offered him in January. Zimmerman, who is considered the cornerstone of the Nationals franchise, is asking for $3.9 million and the Nationals have offered $2.75 million.