Betts, deGrom and Davis get big-money con­tracts, avoid­ing salary ar­bi­tra­tion

Sunday Star - - SPORTS - NEW YORK (AP)

— AL MVP Mookie Betts, NL Cy Young Award win­ner Ja­cob deGrom and ma­jor league home run cham­pion Khris Davis reached high-priced one-year deals to avoid salary ar­bi­tra­tion, while slug­ger Nolan Are­nado and pitch­ers Ger­rit Cole, Luis Sev­erino and Aaron Nola were among

15 play­ers still on track for hear­ings.

Betts and the World Se­ries cham­pion Bos­ton Red Sox agreed to a $20 mil­lion, oneyear con­tract on Fri­day, a

$9.5 mil­lion raise that topped pitcher Max Scherzer’s $8.8 mil­lion hike from Detroit in


Betts’ stan­dard didn’t last the day, bro­ken when deGrom and the New York Mets agreed at $17 mil­lion, a

$9.6 mil­lion in­crease. Cleve­land short­stop Fran­cisco Lin­dor, el­i­gi­ble for the first time, got an even big­ger raise. His salary went up more than $9.9 mil­lion, from

$643,200 to $10.55 mil­lion. Davis and the Oak­land Ath­let­ics reached a $16.5 mil­lion deal, a $6 mil­lion raise af­ter he hit 48 home runs with a ca­reer-high 123 RBIs.

Are­nado asked for a record

$30 mil­lion in ar­bi­tra­tion from Colorado and was of­fered $24 mil­lion. He will top the record for a salary for an ar­bi­tra­tion-el­i­gi­ble player, a

$23 mil­lion deal last year by Toronto and third base­man Josh Don­ald­son.

Among the 157 play­ers el­i­gi­ble for ar­bi­tra­tion at the start of the day, 142 reached deals on the busiest day of the off­sea­son. All were for one year, though Mil­wau­kee catcher Manny Pina’s agree­ment in­cluded a team op­tion for 2020.

There will be fewer hear­ings this win­ter than last year, when play­ers won 12 of

22 cases ar­gued — the most since 24 in 1990.

Wash­ing­ton reached an

$18.8 mil­lion deal with third base­man An­thony Ren­don, who got a $6.5 mil­lion raise, and Chicago White Sox slug­ger Jose Abreu agreed at $16 mil­lion, a raise of $3 mil­lion.

Bos­ton also reached deals with short­stop Xan­der Bo­gaerts for $12 mil­lion and out­fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. for $8.55 mil­lion.

Sus­pended short­stop Ad­di­son Rus­sell and the Chicago Cubs agreed to a $3.4 mil­lion, one-year con­tract, a rel­a­tively small $200,000 raise for a player whose re­la­tion­ship with the team ap­peared strained af­ter a do­mes­tic vi­o­lence sus­pen­sion.

Rus­sell ac­cepted a 40game sus­pen­sion last Oc­to­ber for vi­o­lat­ing base­ball’s do­mes­tic vi­o­lence pol­icy fol­low­ing al­le­ga­tions made by his ex-wife. He missed the fi­nal 11 reg­u­lar-sea­son games plus the wild-card play­off loss and will be el­i­gi­ble to re­turn May 3, bar­ring post­pone­ments.

Rus­sell will lose pay dur­ing the sus­pen­sion. He can earn an ad­di­tional $600,000 in ros­ter bonuses if he is on the ac­tive ros­ter for up to 150 days.

Cubs third base­man Kris Bryant agreed to a $12.9 mil­lion, one-year deal, from $10.85 mil­lion.

Among the play­ers still on track for hear­ings, Cole asked Hous­ton for $13.5 mil­lion and was of­fered

$11,425,000; and Trevor Bauer asked Cleve­land for

$13 mil­lion and was of­fered

$11 mil­lion. Bauer won his hear­ing last win­ter.

Two first-time el­i­gi­ble start­ing pitch­ers didn’t reach deals: Sev­erino asked for $5.25 mil­lion and was of­fered $4.4 mil­lion by the New York Yan­kees, and Aaron Nola re­quested $6.75 mil­lion and was of­fered $4.45 mil­lion by Philadel­phia.

Traded to Cincin­nati by the Los An­ge­les Dodgers, Alex Wood asked the Reds for $9.65 mil­lion and was of­fered $8.7 mil­lion.

Hear­ings are sched­uled for Jan. 28 to Feb. 15 in St. Peters­burg, Florida. While many teams say they have a “file and trial” strat­egy for play­ers who don’t reach deals be­fore the ex­change, some of with pend­ing cases may set­tle.

Some of the gaps are rel­a­tively mod­est: Wash­ing­ton out­fielder Michael A. Tay­lor

($3.5 mil­lion vs. $3.25 mil­lion), Hous­ton right-han­der Chris Deven­ski ($1.65 mil­lion vs. $1.4 mil­lion) and Toronto right-han­der Ryan Tepera ($1.8 mil­lion vs.


Three of the re­main­ing cases in­volve the Astros: short­stop Car­los Cor­rea asked for $5 mil­lion and was of­fered $4.25 mil­lion. a raise


AL MVP Mookie Betts and the Red Sox agreed to a $20 mil­lion con­tract on Fri­day, avoid­ing salary ar­bi­tra­tion.

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