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Four Diamondbacks file for arbitration

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Another marker on the way to Opening Day was reached today, as four Diamondbacks filed for arbitration: Josh Collmenter, Gerardo Parra, Joe Thatcher and Mark Trumbo.

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For Collmenter and Trumbo, it's the first time they've gone through the process, and the latter in particular is likely to see a sharp jump from the near-minimum level salary paid to them both in 2013 - arbitration is rather old school, and cares more about home-runs than OBP!. Parra will be going through the system for the second time, and with a Gold Glove under his belt, should also get a nice increase - he earned $2.35 million in 2013. Finally, Thatcher is in his final year of arbitration, and took home $1.35 million last year.

Of course, filing for arbitration does not require any kind of arbitration hearing, it's just the first step, and negotiations will likely continue for all four players. It has been a very long time since the Diamondbacks have actually failed to settle with a player, and gone into chambers to make their pitch - it'll be 13 years this spring, in fact, with catcher Damian Miller the last to go the distance, all the way back in 2001 . The next step is later this week, when the club and the player exchange the figures they each want. Any hearings won't take place until next month, so there's plenty of time. Last season, no-one in the majors had a hearing, for the first time ever.

The D-backs should find the process positively cheap in comparison to some teams. For instance, it's possible all of our players will cost less, combined, than Clayton Kershaw is going to get from the Dodgers this year, if they fail to work out a long-term deal. They also will pay closer Kenley Janssen for the first time, and that could set the bar for a possible Addison Reed settlement next year. Elsewhere in the division, the Padres have six, led by Chase Headley and Ian Kennedy, the Giants five, including ex-Dbacks Tony Abreu and Yusmeiro Petit, and the Rockies have four arbitration eligible. The Cubs and Nationals lead the league, each with eight: here's the complete list.