Betts wins in arbitration; Realmuto, Miller go to hearings
PHOENIX (AP) All-Star outfielder Mookie Betts beat the Boston Red Sox on Wednesday in the first salary arbitration decision of the year and will get a raise from $950,000 to $10.5 million instead of the team’s $7.5 million offer.
Miami catcher J.T. Realmuto and Arizona pitcher Shelby Miller went to hearings on the second day of offseason cases that could see as many as 25 decisions, which would be the most since 1987.
Arbitrators Daniel Brent, Mark Burstein and Phillip LaPorte ruled for Betts one day after hearing arguments. The 25-year-old hit .264 with 24 homers and 102 RBIs last year, when he made his second straight AL All-Star team. He batted .318 with 31 homers and 113 RBIs in 2016.
The gap between Betts and the Red Sox was the largest among the 27 players who swapped figures with their teams on Jan. 12.
Realmuto, 26, asked for a raise to $3.5 million instead of $2.9 million. He made $562,500 last year and was eligible for arbitration for the first time after hitting .278 with 17 homers and 65 RBIs in his third full season. Arbitrators Andrew Strongin, Elizabeth Neumeier, Allen Ponak are expected to decide Thursday, when the outcome of Miller’s case also is likely.
Miami has traded major league home run champion Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, Dee Gordon and Christian Yelich for prospects since Derek Jeter’s ownership group bought the team in October, and Realmuto also could be dealt.
First baseman Justin Bour and reliever Dan Straily, who are likely to remain with the Marlins, remain scheduled for hearings this month. Bour has asked for a raise from $552,500 to $3.4 million and has been offered $3 million. Straily has requested a raise from $552,100 to $3.55 million and has been offered $3,375,000.
Miller, whose season was cut short by Tommy John surgery on May 10, asked arbitrators Robert Herzog, Gary Kendellen and Sylvia Skratek for a $200,000 raise to $4.9 million, and the Diamondbacks argued he should be paid the same salary as in 2017.
A 27-year-old right-hander, Miller became an All-Star with Atlanta in 2015. He had a 3.02 ERA but went 6-17 and led the major leagues in losses.
He was traded after the season to Arizona in the deal that brought highly regarded infielder Dansby Swanson to the Braves along with outfielder Ender Inciarte and pitcher Aaron Blair, then went 3-12 with a 6.15 ERA for the Diamondbacks.
Miller was 2-2 in four starts last year. He left an outing against the Los Angeles Dodgers on April 23, and Arizona said four days later he had a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament.
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