Mookie Betts beat the Boston Red Sox in the first salary arbitration case of the year and was shortly followed by Diamondbacks starter Shelby Miller with another W for the players. as they start 2-0 in arbitration in 2018.
The All-Star outfielder will get a raise from $950,000 to $10.5 million instead of the team’s $7.5 million by arbitrators Daniel Brent, Mark Burstein and Phillip LaPorte made the decision Wednesday, a day after hearing arguments.. While Miller was awarded a $200,000 raise to $4.9 million by arbitrators Robert Herzog, Gary Kendellen and Sylvia Skratek, who heard the case Wednesday.
The 25-year-old Betts 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.
His gap was the largest among the 27 players who swapped figures with their teams on Jan. 12. Just two of them reached agreements, leaving the rest headed toward hearings, which are scheduled through Feb. 16.
Teams won eight of 15 decisions last winter. Several clubs refused to negotiate after the exchange of proposed arbitration salaries, a so-called file and trial strategy.
On the other case, the Diamondbacks argued he should be paid the same salary as in 2017, when Miller lost in arbitration after asking for $5.1 million.
A 27-year-old right-hander, 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. He had surgery May 10.
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. He then went 3-12 with a 6.15 ERA for the Diamondbacks.
Houston closer Ken Giles and Miami first baseman Justin Bour went to hearings Thursday. A decision also is pending for Miami catcher J.T. Realmuto, whose case was heard Wednesday.
Giles asked Phillip LaPorte, Andrew Strongin and Skratek for a raise from $555,100 to $4.6 million — $400,000 more than Houston’s offer. He had 34 saves in 38 chances and went 1-3 with a 2.30 ERA last year for Houston. While the Astros won their first World Series, Giles had an 11.74 ERA in the postseason and 27.00 ERA in a pair of World Series appearances, when he allowed five runs in 1 2/3 innings.
Bour asked arbitrators James Oldham, Steven Wolf and Mark Burstein for a raise from $552,500 to $3.4 million. Miami offered $3 million to the 29-year-old, who hit .289 last year with 25 homers and 83 RBIs.
Realmuto requested a raise from $562,500 to $3.5 million from Elizabeth Neumeier, Allen Ponak and Strongin, and the team offered $2.9 million. He hit .278 with 17 homers and 65 RBIs in his third full season.