“That (hearing) is certainly what I am preparing for,” said Joe Sroba, Beimel’s agent, who is based in Richmond, Va. “No settlement is imminent.” In a hearing, a panel of three arbitrators would choose one of the above figures, with no latitude to choose a compromise figure. Beimel, 29, was promoted from Triple-A Las Vegas on May 1 and proceeded to have the best season of his career. Pitching primarily as a situational left-hander, he posted a 2.96 ERA in 62 appearances. But he was unavailable for the playo ffs after cutting his hand on a glass in a Manhattan bar in the wee hours of Oct. 2 — barely 36 hours before the start of what became a three-game sweep at the hands of the New York Mets. The arbitration hearing for Dodgers reliever Joe Beimel is scheduled for Feb. 9 in Phoenix, leaving team officials nine days to negotiate an agreement to avoid what would be the club’s first such hearing in three years. Beimel, who made $425,000 last season, is seeking $1.25 million for 2007. The Dodgers filed at $912,500, leaving a gap of $337,500. Talks aimed at reducing that gap appear to have reached an impasse. Since then, Beimel has personally apologized to teammates and publicly expressed remorse over that incident, and all appears to have been forgiven. But if he takes the club to a hearing, Dodgers officials can use the matter in making th eir case against him. “How they choose to use that is up to them,” Sroba said. “We will certainly be responsive to it. It isn’t a positive thing for us, but it was an unfortunate accident.” The Dodgers last went to arbitration with Eric Gagne, who was coming off his Cy Young season of 2003. The club won that case, leaving Gagne with a $5 million salary for 2004 instead of the $8 million he was seeking.