The Texas Rangers and Mitch Moreland are scheduled to have an arbitration hearing on Wednesday, according to Jon Heyman on Twitter. The sides are $1.3M apart, with Moreland asking for $6 million, and the Rangers offering $4.7 million. MLB Trade Rumors' projection for Moreland's arbitration salary for 2016 is $5.6 million.
The Rangers have, famously, not had a case go to arbitration since Lee Stevens went to arbitration with the Rangers in 2000. The Rangers prevailed in that instance, with Stevens getting $3.5 million, rather than the $4.7 million that he was seeking. Stevens ended up getting sent to Montreal in the spring of 2000 in a three-way deal that sent Brad Fullmer to Toronto, and David Segui to Texas.
It is kind of serendipitous that the first case that the Rangers might be going to arbitration on since Stevens involves, like Stevens, a lefthanded hitting first baseman, and that the Rangers are offering the same $4.7M to Moreland that Stevens was asking for in 2000.
Heyman notes that Brandon Belt is also scheduled to go to arbitration with the Giants on Wednesday, and as a first baseman with almost five years of service time, Belt is similar to Moreland -- if either case settles, it could end up influencing who prevails in the non-settling case (or could end up leading the other case to settle). Belt would seem more likely to settle than Moreland -- with Moreland entering his final year of arbitration eligibility, and most likely going elsewhere after this season, he has less of an incentive than Belt to settle.