NEW YORK (AP)Seattle second baseman/outfielder Adam Frazier and Kansas City outfielder Andrew Benintendi won their salary arbitration cases on Friday, giving players a split of the first four decisions.
Frazier was awarded $8 million rather the Mariners’ $6.7 million offer by the panel of Margaret Brogan, Frederic Horowitz and Brian Keller, who heard the case on May 2.
”Excitement, for sure,” said Frazier, who listened to the four-hour Zoom session when Major League Baseball and the Mariners argued against Frazier’s representative and the players’ association. ”My agent and the PA did a great job presenting the case. Obviously I’m going to make money either way.”
Benintendi will received $8.5 million instead of the Royals’ $7.3 million offer under the decision by Mark Burstein, Keith Greenberg and Steven Wolf, who listened to arguments on Thursday.
”I knew it was going to happen and it’s nothing I haven’t heard before,” Benintendi said of the team’s arguments against his case. ”For me, it was just trying to see it from every side. It’s unfortunate that it had to happen during the season, but the circumstances are what they are.”
Benintendi then hit a three-run homer and an RBI triple in the Royals’ 14-10 win at Colorado. He impressed manager Mike Matheny with how he handled the oddity of fighting in season for his salary.
”He’s tough between the ears,” Matheny said.
Benintendi won’t have to worry about arbitration again. He’ll be a free agent after the season.
”We’ll see what happens,” Benintendi said when asked if he’d like to re-sign with the Royals. ”There’s still a lot of season left and a lot of other things to worry about first.”
In the first two arbitration decisions Wednesday, the Atlanta Braves beat third baseman Austin Riley and the St. Louis Cardinals defeated outfielder Tyler O’Neill.
Frazier was a first-time All-Star last year, when he batted .305 with five homers and 43 RBIs in 155 games for Pittsburgh and San Diego, which traded him to the Mariners in November. He earned $4.3 million last year.
Benintendi hit 276 with 17 homers and 73 RBIs last year, earning a Gold Glove in his first season with the Royals. He was acquired from Boston in February 2021 as part of a three-team trade that also involved the New York Mets. The 27-year-old made $6.6 million last season and is eligible for free agency after this year’s World Series.
A decision remains pending for Milwaukee right-hander Adrian Houser.
Fifteen additional players are eligible for arbitration, with hearings scheduled through June 24. Players scheduled for hearings include Atlanta outfielder Adam Duvall, pitcher Max Fried and Dansby Swanson, along with New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge, New York Mets pitcher Chris Bassitt, Minnesota catcher Gary Sanchez and Philadelphia pitcher Zach Eflin.
Arbitration hearings usually are held during the first three weeks of February but were delayed by the lockout.
No statistics or evidence from after March 1 are admissible other than contract and salary comparisons, timing set when Major League Baseball and the players’ association agreed to the deal that ended the lockout.
AP freelance writer Mike Cranston in Denver contributed to this report.
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