NEW YORK (AP) — Juan Soto, Pete Alonso and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. reached big-money agreements on one-year contracts that avoided salary arbitration as the exchange of proposed hearing figures between Major League Baseball and the players' association stretched late into Friday night.
Soto got a $23 million deal with San Diego, tied for the fourth-highest one-year contract among arbitration-eligible players. Shohei Ohtani set the record when the two-way star agreed last fall to a $30 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels.
Soto also trailed Mookie Betts ($27 million with Boston in 2020) and Nolan Arenado ($26 million with Colorado in 2019), and he matched Josh Donaldson's $23 million with Toronto in 2018.
In addition to the deal with the outfielder, San Diego also reached a $14.1 million, one-year agreement with Josh Hader, the largest salary for an arbitration-eligible relief pitcher.
The high-spending New York Mets struck a $14.5 million deal with Alonso, who tied for the 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 Urías settled with the Los Angeles Dodgers at $14.25 million, first baseman Rhys Hoskins with NL champion Philadelphia at $12 million, two-time All-Star right-hander Shane Bieber with Cleveland at $10.01 million and left-hander Jordan Montgomery with St. Louis at $10 million.
Minnesota right-hander Chris Paddack, recovering from Tommy John surgery in May, agreed to a $12.5 million, three-year contract, a person familiar with the negotiations said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the deal is subject to a successful physical. Paddack gets $2.5 million in each of the next two seasons and $7.5 million in 2025.
For players and teams who fail to strike deals, arguments before three-person panels will be scheduled for Jan. 30 to Feb. 17 in St. Petersburg, Florida. They will be the first in-person hearings since 2020, just before the pandemic.
Teams have won the majority of decisions for three straight years and lead players 334-251 since arbitration started in 1974.
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