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Jeff Mathis misses first Angels workout to attend arbitration hearing

February 18, 2010 |  8:45 am

TEMPE, Ariz. -- The Angels were one catcher short for their first spring-training workout Thursday morning. Jeff Mathis, who has split playing time with Mike Napoli for the last two years, is in Tampa, Fla., for his arbitration hearing and is expected to return in time for Friday's practice.

At the hearing, arbitrators will determine whether Mathis, a superb defensive catcher who hit .211 with five homers and 28 runs batted in last season, will be awarded a salary of $1.3 million, which Mathis filed for, or $700,000, the figure the Angels filed.

The only other unsigned player in camp, shortstop Erick Aybar, is expected to agree to terms before his arbitration hearing, even though the sides are fairly far apart. Aybar has asked for a salary of $2.75 million; the Angels have countered with $1.75 million.

-- Mike DiGiovanna