By RONALD BLUM, AP Baseball Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — NL Cy Young Award winner Jake Arrieta had the largest gap among 35 players who swapped proposed figures with their teams in salary arbitration, and new Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman also had a big difference.
After going 22-6 and helping the Cubs reach the NL Championship Series, Arrieta asked Friday for a raise from $3.63 million to $13 million. Chicago offered $7.5 million, leaving the sides $5.5 million apart.
Chapman, under investigation for domestic violence by Major League Baseball, requested a raise from $8,075,000 to $13.1 million. The Yankees, who acquired him from Cincinnati on Dec. 28, offered $9 million to the reliever, whose fastball regularly tops 103 mph.
Ninety-two players agreed to contracts Friday, leaving fewer than three dozen cases remaining among the 156 players who filed for arbitration Tuesday.
Others with sizable gaps included Kansas City outfielder Lorenzo Cain ($7.85 million vs. $5 million), new Mets second baseman Neil Walker ($11.8 million vs. $9.4 million) and Baltimore pitcher Zach Britton ($7.9 million vs, $5.6 million).
For those who don’t settle, hearings before three-person panels of arbitrators will be scheduled for the first three weeks of February. Teams went 8-6 last year, the most hearings since 2001, and are 301-221 record since arbitration began in 1974.
Toronto third baseman Josh Donaldson, the AL MVP, had a narrow difference with the Blue Jays, asking for $11.8 million. Toronto offered $11.35 million to Donaldson, who lost in arbitration last year and made $4.3 million rather than his request for $5.75 million. He hit .297 with 41 homers and 123 RBIs, helping Toronto reach the playoffs for the first time since 1993.
Among the star pitchers who agreed to one-year deals Friday were Stephen Strasburg of Washington ($10.4 million), Matt Harvey of the New York Mets ($4,325,000) and Dallas Keuchel of Houston ($7.25 million), the AL Cy Young Award winner.
NL batting champion Dee Gordon finalized a $50 million, five-year contract with the Miami Marlins, who agreed to a $2.8 million, one-year deal with pitcher Jose Fernandez.
Tampa Bay second baseman Logan Forsythe agreed to a $10.25 million, two-year contract.
Among those striking one-year deals were Los Angeles Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen ($10.65 million), Pittsburgh closer Mark Melancon ($9.65 million), Baltimore outfielder-first baseman Mark Trumbo ($9.15 million), newly acquired Toronto reliever Drew Storen ($9,375,000) and St. Louis outfielder-first baseman Brandon Moss ($8.25 million).
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