John Lott shared this with us:
There is no rule stopping a team and a player to agree to a contract between January 17 and their scheduled hearing, but Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos has a personal rule where he would not negotiate on one-year contracts after the exchange of salary figures. That leaves the player with two options: agree to a multi-year deal or let the arbitration panel decide his salary.
So the Jays have their work cut out for them if they want to continue their streak of not appearing before an arbitrator. Bill Risley in 1997 was the last.