General manager Jon Daniels will have to find a middle ground with designated hitter Mitch Moreland to keep alive a streak that has seen the Texas Rangers avoid a salary-arbitration hearing since 2000.
Moreland and the Rangers exchanged salary figures Friday and are $600,000 apart on a contract for 2015.
Moreland, who missed most of last season after undergoing reconstructive ankle surgery, is seeking $3.35 million, while the Rangers countered at $2.75 million.
If the sides fail to reach agreement, they will head to a hearing at some point between Feb. 1-21.
The Rangers avoided arbitration earlier Friday by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $3.45 million with rotation newcomer Ross Detwiler, a left-hander acquired in December from Washington.
Closer Neftali Feliz and the Rangers agreed Thursday on a one-year pact at $4,125,000 to also avoid arbitration.
Moreland made $2.65 million last season in his first year as an arbitration-eligible player but lasted only 52 games before a lingering ankle injury required surgery. He batted .246 with two homers in 167 at-bats, and his season highlight was tossing a perfect inning of relief in a blowout loss at Colorado.
Daniels has never had the experience of a player going to an arbitration hearing, a contentious process. First baseman Lee Stevens and the Rangers were unable to find common ground in 2000, and Stevens prevailed at the hearing.
Jeff Wilson, 817-390-7760