The Associated PressNEW 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, one-year contract on Friday, a record $9.5 million raise for a player in arbitration more than one time that topped pitcher Max Scherzer’s $8.8 million hike from Detroit in 2014.
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 a 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 ban.