BOSTON (CBS) – With Pitchers and catcher set to report in six days for the Boston Red Sox, things could get a little messy with their DH.

The Red Sox and David Ortiz have an arbitration hearing scheduled for Monday in Florida, with the two sides reportedly nearly $4 million apart on the DH’s 2012 salary.

Ortiz wants a $16.5 million with Boston offering $12.65, a slight raise from his 2011 contract that paid him $12.5 million. The Sox DH hit .309 last season, his highest batting average since 2007, clubbing 29 home runs and driving in 96 runs.

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It is possible the two sides reach a deal before the hearing, or even in the hearing room, but very unlikely. Ortiz would still like a multi-year deal, but it’s doubtful the Red Sox would sign a 36-year-old designated hitter to multiple years.

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So it appears the Red Sox will have their first arbitration hearing since 2002, when they went to the negotiating tables with pitcher Tim Wakefield. Things could get messy when the team begins arguing against the larger salary, bringing up Ortiz’ shortfalls in the process.

Once the case is heard, a decision would likely come some time Tuesday.


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