Astros beat W-Rod; Mathis, Burnett have hearings
Pitcher Wandy Rodriguez lost to the Houston Astros in salary arbitration on Thursday, and Los Angeles Angels catcher Jeff Mathis and Washington reliever Sean Burnett had their hearings.
Rodriguez will be paid $5 million this year instead of the $7 million he sought. Arbitrators Richard Bloch, Elizabeth Neumeier and Fredric Horowitz made their decision a day after hearing the case.
A 31-year-old left-hander, Rodriguez was 14-12 last season with a 3.02 ERA, ninth in the NL among qualifiers. He struck out a career-high 193, also ninth, and made $2.65 million. His 192 hits allowed also were a career high and 21 homers allowed were one shy of his worst.
Owners lead players 3-2 with two cases pending and shortstop Ryan Theriot set to argue against the Chicago Cubs.
Milwaukee outfielder Corey Hart ($4.8 million) and Florida outfielder Cody Ross ($4.45 million) won, while Tampa Bay outfielder B.J. Upton ($3 million) and Washington reliever Brian Bruney ($1.5 million) also lost.
At his hearing in St. Petersburg, Fla., Mathis asked for a raise from $450,000 to $1.3 million, and Los Angeles argued that he should be paid $700,000. A decision by arbitrators Elliott Shiftman, Steven Wolf and Margaret Brogan is expected by Friday.
Mathis, who shares the Angels' catching job in a platoon with Mike Napoli, hit .211 with five homers and 28 RBIs in 237 at-bats last year. His 11th-inning double beat the New York Yankees in Game 3 of the AL championship series.
Infielder Erick Aybar and the Angels agreed to a $2.05 million, one-year contract that avoided arbitration. Aybar, who hit .312 with five homers and 58 RBIs last season, can earn an additional $100,000 in performance bonuses.
Burnett asked arbitrators Robert Bailey, Robert Herzog and Horowitz for $925,000, and the Nationals argued for $775,000.
Acquired from Pittsburgh with Nyjer Morgan on June 30 for Joel Hanrahan and Lastings Milledge. the 28-year-old lefty was 2-3 with a 3.12 ERA and one save in 71 relief appearances last season. Burnett, a former first-round draft pick, made $408,500.
When Theriot and the Cubs swapped proposed salaries last month, he asked for a raise from $500,000 to $3.4 million and was offered $2.6 million. The 30-year-old hit .284 last year with seven homers, 54 RBIs and 21 steals in 30 tries.
This would be the Cubs' first hearing since first baseman Mark Grace lost in 1993 and was awarded $3.1 million rather than his request for $4.1 million.