NEW YORK – Juan Soto, Pete Alonso and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. reached big-money deals on one-year contracts that avoided wage arbitrage as the exchange of proposed hearing data between Major League Baseball and the players’ association dragged on until late Friday night.
Soto secured a $23 million deal with San Diego, the fourth-highest one-year deal among arbitration-eligible players. Shohei Otani set a record when the two-sided star agreed to a $30 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels last fall.
Soto also trailed Muka Betts ($27 million with Boston in 2020) and Nolan Arenado ($26 million with Colorado in 2019) and equaled Josh Donaldson’s $23 million with Toronto in 2018.
In addition to the outfielder deal, San Diego also secured a one-year, $14.1 million deal with Josh Hader, the largest salary for an arbitration-eligible pitcher.
The high-spending New York Mets struck a $14.5 million deal with Alonso, who tied for a major league lead with 131 RBIs last season. The first baseman nearly doubled his $7.4 million salary.
Guerrero agreed to the same figure with Toronto, the first baseman increasing his salary from $7.9 million.
Left-hander Julio Urias settled with the Los Angeles Dodgers for $14.25 million, first baseman Reece Hoskins with National League champion Philadelphia for $12 million, two-time right-hander Shane Bieber with the Cleveland Cleveland for $10.01 million, and left-hander Jordan Montgomery with St. Louis for $10 million.
Minnesota right-hander Chris Paddack, who is recovering from Tommy John surgery in May, has agreed to a three-year, $12.5 million contract, a person familiar with the negotiations said on condition of anonymity as the deal is subject to a successful medical review. Paddak receives $2.5 million in each of the next two seasons and $7.5 million in 2025.
For players and teams that fail to make a deal, debates before groups of three will be scheduled from January 30 to February 17 in St. Petersburg, Florida. These will be the first face-to-face hearings since 2020, shortly before the pandemic.
The teams have won the most decisions for three consecutive years and have led the way in player count 334-251 since arbitration began in 1974.
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