MLB: Mathis wins in arbitration, Burnett loses
AP Sports Writer
NEW YORK — Catcher Jeff Mathis defeated the Los Angeles Angels in salary arbitration and reliever Sean Burnett lost to the Washington Nationals.
Mathis was given a raise from $450,000 to $1.3 million on Friday by arbitrators Elliott Shiftman, Steven Wolf and Margaret Brogan, who heard the case a day earlier in St. Petersburg, Fla. The Angels had argued that he should be paid $700,000.
Mathis, who shares the Angels' catching job in a platoon with Mike Napoli, hit .211 with five homers and 28 RBIs in 237 at-bats last year. His 11th-inning double beat the New York Yankees in Game 3 of the AL championship series.
Burnett was awarded $775,000 by arbitrators Robert Bailey, Robert Herzog and Fredric Horowitz rather than his request for a raise from $408,500 to $925,000. Washington improved to 2-0 in arbitration this year.
Acquired from Pittsburgh with Nyjer Morgan on June 30 for Joel Hanrahan and Lastings Milledge, the 28-year-old lefty was 2-3 with a 3.12 ERA and one save in 71 relief appearances last season.
Owners lead players 4-3 with one case left to be decided. Shortstop Ryan Theriot on Friday asked arbitrators John Kagel, Brogan and Shriftman for a raise from $500,000 to $3.4 million, while the Chicago Cubs said he should be paid $2.6 million. The 30-year-old hit .284 last year with seven homers, 54 RBIs and 21 steals in 30 tries.
This was the Cubs' first hearing since first baseman Mark Grace lost in 1993 and was awarded $3.1 million rather than his request for $4.1 million.
Milwaukee outfielder Corey Hart ($4.8 million) and Florida outfielder Cody Ross ($4.45 million) also won their cases this year, while Tampa Bay outfielder B.J. Upton ($3 million) and Washington reliever Brian Bruney ($1.5 million) also lost.