M's Hernandez loses in arbitration, teams go 13-6 vs players
NEW YORK (AP) — Seattle outfielder Teoscar Hernández was among five players who lost their salary arbitration cases on Saturday and Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe won as teams finished with a 13-6 advantage in decisions.
Angels infielder Gio Urshela, Tampa Bay relievers Colin Poche and Ryan Thompson and St. Louis reliever Génesis Cabrera also lost their cases.
Teams won the majority of decisions for the fourth straight year and have a 347-257 record since arbitration began in 1974.
Hernández, acquired by the Mariners from Toronto in a November trade, will receive $14 million instead of his request for $16 million after a hearing Friday before Mark Burstein, John Woods and Howard Edelman. The previous high for an arbitration case that went to a decision was $13.5 million by pitcher Gerrit Cole in his 2019 win over Houston and by pitcher Max Fried in his loss to Atlanta this year.
Renfroe will get $11.9 million instead of the Angels' offer of $11.25 million. His hearing before Melinda Gordon, Scott Buchheit and John Stout was the first of the year on Jan. 30 but the decision was held until Hernández's case was decided.
Urshela gets $8.4 million instead of $10 million after a hearing Wednesday in front of Fredric Horowitz, Jeanne Charles and Stephen Raymond.
Thompson receives $1 million rather than $1.2 million in a case heard Feb. 6 by Stout, Raymond and Allen Ponak, and Poche gets $1,175,000 instead of $1.3 million followng Feb. 7 arguments before John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, The $125,000 gap between Poche and the Rays was the smallest among the 33 cases at the time of the Jan. 13 exchange of proposed figures.
Tampa Bay split four decisions, losing earlier to outfielder Harold Ramírez ($2.2 million) and reliever Jason Adam ($1,775,000).
Cabrera receives $950,000 instead of $1.15 million following a hearing Friday before Jules Bloch, Buchheit and Horowitz.
The 19 hearings this year were up from 13 last year and the most since 22 in 2018. Hearings were held in person at St. Petersburg, Florida, following two years of Zoom sessions caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
Among the players who swapped figures with their teams on Jan. 13, 14 reached agreements without hearings.
There were about 200 players eligible for arbitration heading into the week of the exchange. Eleven players wound up with mulityear contracts topped by Houston pitcher Cristian Javier with a five-year deal, and the Mets' Jeff McNeil and Tampa Bay's Jeffrey Springs with four years each.
Tampa Bay's Yandy Díaz and Pete Fairbanks agreed to three-year deals along with Philadelphia's José Alvarado, Toronto's Bo Bichette, Seattle's Dylan Moore and Minnesota's Chris Paddack. The Phillies' Seranthony Domínguez and the Dodgers' Tony Gonsolin got two years each.
An All-Star in 2021, the 30-year-old Hernández hit .267 with 25 home runs and 77 RBIs in 131 games last season for Toronto, then was traded to Seattle for right-hander reliever Erik Swanson and minor league lefty Adam Macko.
Renfroe hit .255 with 29 homers and 72 RBIs for Milwaukee last season, down from a .259 average, 31 homers and 96 RBIs for Boston in 2021. The 31-year-old was acquired by the Angels in November for right-handers Janson Junk and Elvis Peguero, and minor league lefty Adam Seminaris.
Urshela, 31, hit .285 with 13 homers and 64 RBIs last season for Minnesota, which traded him to the Angels on Nov. 18 for minor league right-hander Alejandro Hidalgo. Urshela earned $6.55 million.
Thompson, a 30-year-old right-hander, was 3-3 with a 3.80 ERA in 47 relief appearances last year, striking out 39 and walking 11 in 42 2/3 innings. Poche, a 29-year-old left-hander, had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.
Cabrera, a 26-year-old left-hander, went 4-2 with a 4.63 ERA in 39 relief appearances.
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Ronald Blum, The Associated Press