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6 Twins file for arbitration, Friday deadline looms for offers

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Six Twins players filed for arbitration earlier this week and the Twins face a Friday deadline to exchange salary offers with those players.

Pitchers Tommy Milone, Kevin Jepsen and Casey Fien and infielders Trevor Plouffe, Eduardo Nunez and Eduardo Escobar filed for arbitration after they were tendered contracts in December.

If recent history is any indication, the Twins are likely to agree to contracts with many of those players on or before Friday.

Nunez, Milone, Fien and Plouffe agreed to terms on the same day they exchanged figures with the Twins last year. Escobar is arbitration-eligible for the first time this year and Minnesota acquired Jepsen in a trade with the Rays last year.

One thing might be quite different this year: the salary numbers. Those numbers are expected to be quite a bit higher this year, but Twins assistant general manager Rob Antony tells the Star Tribune that shouldn't make the contracts any more difficult to work out.

"Sometimes the smaller-dollar cases are tougher, because [$50,000, for example] is a big difference to the player," Antony told the newspaper. "I don't think the dollars being higher will be an issue. The process is still the same."

Contract projections from mlbtraderumors.com figure Plouffe will cost $7.7 million after the best season in his career with the Twins. He hit .244 with 22 home runs, 35 doubles and 86 RBIs, while improving his defense at third base last season. The website predicts Jepsen also could also see his salary jump to around $6 million.

The site foresees Nunez receiving around $1.5 million, Fien about $2.2 million, Milone about $4.5 million and Escobar $1.8 million.

If the sides don't agree, a panel of three arbitrators will hold a hearing in February and choose one or the other figure. But the Twins haven't reached an arbitration hearing with a player since Kyle Lohse was awarded $3.95 million in 2006.

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