Arbitrators have ruled in favor of the Marlins in their arbitration case with pitching newcomer Mat Latos, according to ESPN's Jerry Crasnick, ending Miami's long losing streak in salary hearings. It was the first win for the Marlins in a salary arbitration case since 2007 (scorecard). They had lost their previous four cases.
Latos was seeking $10.4 million. But arbitrators ruled in favor of the Marlins' $9.4 figure.
Two other arbitration cases involving Marlins have yet to be argued. Hearings will also be held for pitchers Mike Dunn and David Phelps.
While the Marlins have closely monitored the James Shields situation, multiple sources have told me they don't expect to sign the free agent pitcher, with one assessing the team's chances at "zero percent."
With Dan Haren expected to report to spring training (the Marlins have been unsuccessful in fulfilling his request for a trade to a West Coast team), the team's 2015 payroll will exceed the projected budget figure of $65 million. Acquiring Shields would push it well past $80 million.
Shields is expected to announce a decision within the coming days.