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Hill awarded $775,000 in arbitration

Hill awarded $775,000 in arbitration

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Nationals pitcher Shawn Hill became the first Major League player to go to an arbitration hearing on Friday.

On Saturday, he was the first player to win his case.

Hill, who earned $402,000 in 2008, was awarded the $775,000 he requested from the Nationals, who had countered with $500,000, according to The Washington Post. During an arbitration hearing, a three-person panel in Phoenix hands out one figure -- there is no middle ground.

With Hill's case decided, the Nationals have three arbitration-eligible players remaining in outfielder Josh Willingham, left-hander Scott Olsen -- both acquired via trade from the Marlins this offseason -- and third baseman Ryan Zimmerman. According to The Post, Olsen's hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, while Willingham's date is Feb. 18.

Hearings will run until Feb. 20, and clubs can agree on a contract with the players until their respective hearing dates.

During an injury-plagued 2008 season, Hill went 1-5 with a 5.83 ERA in 12 starts. The 27-year-old right-hander didn't pitch after June 24 and had arthroscopic surgery on his right elbow performed by Dr. James Andrews on Sept. 5.

"I was very happy, obviously," Hill told The Post. "Somewhat surprised, just knowing that the owners do have the advantage historically and they've been 60 or 65 percent in the last couple years. We were kind of going up against it. I didn't expect it to go ... to the hearing, but I'm pleased with the outcome."

Alden Gonzalez is an associate reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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