Adam Frazier and the Seattle Mariners argued the first of this year’s delayed salary arbitration cases on Monday, with the second baseman/outfielder asking for a raise from $4.3 million to $8 million and the team arguing for $6.7 million.
Arbitrators Margaret Brogan, Frederic Horowitz and Brian Keller heard the case virtually. They will withhold their decision for two weeks.
Frazier is batting .250 with no homers and 11 RBIs this season, though no statistics or evidence from after March 1 are admissible other than contract and salary comparisons. Major League Baseball and the players’ association agreed to that provision as part of the agreement that ended the lockout.
Frazier was a first-time All-Star last year, when hit .267 with with one homer and 11 RBIs for Pittsburgh and San Diego, which traded him to the Mariners in November.
A seven-year big league veteran who is eligible for free agency after this season, Frazier has a .280 career average with 40 homers and 226 RBIs. He played for Pittsburgh from 2016 until he was traded to the Padres last July.
Nineteen additional players remaining eligible for arbitration, with hearings scheduled through June 24. Players scheduled for hearings include New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge, Atlanta outfielder Adam Duvall, shortstop Dansby Swanson, pitcher Max Fried and third baseman Austin Riley, New York Mets pitcher Chris Bassitt, Kansas City outfielder Andrew Benintendi, Minnesota catcher Gary Sánchez and Philadelphia pitcher Zach Eflin.
Players and teams usually exchange proposed arbitration salaries in mid-January and argue cases during the first three weeks of February. This year’s exchange was delayed until March 22 because of the lockout that started Dec. 2 and ended March 10.
Teams won five of nine hearings last year and have a 325-247 advantage since arbitration started in 1974. MLB proposed eliminating arbitration during bargaining and the union pushed to expand it, but the sides left eligibility the same as it has been since 2013: all players with at least three seasons but less than six of major league service plus the top 22% by service time among players with at least two seasons but less than three.
Among approximately 200 players eligible for arbitration at the end of the lockout, the vast majority reached negotiated agreements.
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