Reliever J.J. Hoover and Reds argue salary arbitration case

PHOENIX (AP) J.J. Hoover and the Cincinnati Reds argued their salary arbitration case Thursday, with the reliever asking for a raise from $535,000 to $1.4 million and the team arguing for $1,225,000.

A decision by arbitrators James Oldham, Dan Brent and Sylvia Skratek is expected Friday.

A 28-year-old right-hander, Hoover was 8-2 with a 2.94 ERA, winning his first seven decisions. As a setup man for closer Aroldis Chapman, he gave up 44 hits and 31 walks in 64 1-3 innings while striking out 52. He allowed three of 12 inherited runners to score and had a streak of 30 games in which he did not give up an earned run.

Hoover is a candidate to take over as closer this season following Chapman's trade to the New York Yankees.

Tampa Bay pitcher Drew Smyly won the first decision of the year Thursday and will have a $3.75 million salary rather than $3.2 million.

Thirteen players remained scheduled for hearings, which run through Feb. 19.

SI Apps
We've Got Apps Too
Get expert analysis, unrivaled access, and the award-winning storytelling only SI can provide — from Peter King, Tom Verducci, Lee Jenkins, Grant Wahl, Andy Staples and more — delivered straight to you, along with up-to-the-minute news and live scores.