MontrealThe Montreal Expos today announced that first baseman Nick Johnson has lost his arbitration case and will earn $1.25 million for the 2004 season. Johnson had submitted a salary figure of $1.68 million. Arbitrators Roger Kaplan, Jack Clarke and Christine Knowlton heard the case yesterday in Phoenix, Arizona. The Expos were represented at the hearing by Assistant General Manager & Director of Baseball Administration, Tony Siegle.

"Despite the risky nature arbitration presents, we know Nick's professionalism will not deter him from achieving his full potential this year," said Expos' Vice-President and General Manager Omar Minaya. "It is arelief to have this matter settled before spring training."

Johnson, who was acquired last December 4 from the Yankees, hit .284 with 14 home runs and 47 RBI in just 96 games in his second full big league campaign. He posted a team-leading .422 on-base percentage and career-best .472 slugging percentage.

The opening of Expos' spring training camp is only nine days away with the first workout for pitchers and catchers scheduled for Thursday, February 19 at 10 a.m. The first full squad workout will take place Tuesday, February 24. The team's first exhibition game will be on Thursday, March 4 at 1:05 p.m., against the Detroit Tigers at Lakeland.

Montreal Expos - 10 February 2004

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