PHOENIX — Mookie Betts and the Boston Red Sox have argued the first salary arbitration case of the year, with the All-Star outfielder asking for a raise from $950,000 to $10.5 million and the team offering $7.5 million.

Arbitrators Daniel Brent, Mark Burstein, Phillip LaPorte heard arguments Tuesday, and a decision is expected Wednesday.

The 25-year-old, eligible for arbitration for the first time, hit .264 with 24 homers and 102 RBI last year, when he made his second straight AL All-Star team. He batted .318 with 31 homers and 113 RBI in 2016.

His gap was the largest among the 27 players who swapped figures with their teams on Jan. 12. Just two of them reached agreements, leaving the rest headed toward hearings, which are scheduled through Feb. 16.

Rangers: Left-hander Jon Niese signed a minor league contract and will go to spring training after not pitching in the regular season last year.

BREWERS: Reliever Matt Albers finalized a $5 million, two-year contract with Milwaukee, which is adding a veteran right-hander to help set up for All-Star closer Corey Knebel.

Kevin Towers, whose 14-year tenure as GM of the San Diego Padres included an appearance in the 1998 World Series, has died from complications of cancer. He was 56.

Towers was diagnosed with a rare form of thyroid cancer a little more than a year ago.

Towers also was GM of the Diamondbacks for four seasons.

PACE OF PLAY: A runner would be put on second base at the start of the 11th inning of the All-Star Game and each additional inning, according to the latest pace-of-game proposal by Major League Baseball.

The experiment also would be used in the 10th inning of spring training games, according to the Jan. 9 proposal obtained by The Associated Press. Spring training games would be capped at 10 innings.

Concerned about injuries in games that don’t count, the players’ association isn’t expected to oppose the concept.