Keuchel receives steepest increase among 156 in arbitration

NEW YORK (AP) AL Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel received the steepest increase among the 156 players in salary arbitration this year, according to a study by The Associated Press.

The salary of the Houston Astros ace rose 1,282 percent, from $524,500 to $7.25 million, after he went 20-8 with a 2.48 ERA in 33 starts and set a major league record by going 16-0 at home. He was the starting pitcher in the All-Star game and his ERA was second in the AL.

St. Louis closer Trevor Rosenthal was second at 928 percent, getting a hike from $545,000 to $5.6 million. He set a Cardinals record with 48 saves last season and has a big league-high 93 saves during the last two years.

Arizona outfielder A.J. Pollock was third at 887 percent, getting an increase from $519,500 to an average of $5,125,000 as part of a two-year deal.

Just 10 players agreed to multiyear contracts, the fewest among players who filed for arbitration since nine in 2004. The only player who received a deal of more than two years was Miami second baseman Dee Gordon, who reached a $50 million, five-year agreement after winning the NL batting title.

The 156 players averaged a 96 percent increase, from $1.89 million to $3.71 million. That is up from an 88 percent rise last year, when the 175 players who filed for arbitration averaged $3.63 million.

Every player in arbitration got a raise except for New York Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia, who was cut from $2,595,000 to $2.47 million following a pair of drug suspensions. Mejia was due back from the second penalty this summer but last week was suspended for a third time, resulting in a lifetime ban.

Just four players went to hearings, and players were 3-1 in cases decided by three-person panels – their first winning record since they went 2-1 in 2011. Management has a 302-224 advantage since arbitration started in 1974.

Three pitchers won their hearings: Toronto's Jesse Chavez ($4 million), Tampa Bay's Drew Smyly ($3.75 million) and Cincinnati's J.J. Hoover ($1.4 million). Astros catcher Jason Castro ($5 million) lost.