Glenn Davis asked for a record $3,625,000 and Pittsburgh's Barry Bonds, Doug Drabek and Bobby Bonilla also sought more than $3 million in salary arbitration Friday.
Of the 138 players who traded figures with teams, 62 want at least $1 million. Tom Candiotti, Kelly Gruber and Gary Gaetti were among the 11 asking for $3 million and 19 others were in the $2 million range.Last year, 135 players exchanged numbers. Three wanted $3 million, eight others asked for $2 million and 45 sought $1 million. Only 24 of those cases, however, wound up being decided by an arbitrator, with players winning 14.
Bobby Thigpen, Randy Myers and Mitch Williams were among 14 players who agreed to contracts Friday instead of exchanging figures. Thigpen, who set a major league record with 57 saves, got a $9 million, three-year deal with the Chicago White Sox.
Salary arbitration hearings take place the first three weeks of February. An arbitrator must pick either the player's figure or the club's, although the two sides can settle at any time before a decision is made. Stanley Jefferson and Cleveland agreed to a one-year deal shortly after exchanging numbers.
Davis, obtained this month by Baltimore in a trade with Houston, is seeking an increase from last year's salary of $1,985,000. The Orioles offered $2.9 million.
The previous highest request was $3.4 million last year by Milwaukee's Robin Yount. The most ever won in arbitration was $1,975,000 by Don Mattingly of the New York Yankees in 1987.
Bonds, the NL's MVP, is seeking the biggest salary increase - $2.4 million. Bonds, who made $850,000 last season, asked for $3.25 million and the Pirates offered $2.3 million.
Drabek and Bonilla also want major increases. Drabek, who made $1.1 million last season and became the Cy Young winner, wants $3,335,000 and the team offered $2.3 million; Bonilla, who made $1.25 million, is seeking a raise to $3,475,000 and the Pirates submitted $2.4 million.
Detroit's Jack Morris, Texas' Ruben Sierra and San Diego's Fred McGriff are the others wanting $3 million.
In a rare quirk, pitcher Drew Hall and the Montreal Expos submitted the same figure of $225,000. Their one-year contract became automatic.
"We evaluated that case for four months. We submitted a number we felt we could win with. It just so happened that the team did the same," Hall's agent, Scott Boras, said. "Drew was a guy who was injured last year and we obviously took that into consideration."
Wally Joyner, Jeff Hamilton, Lloyd McClendon, Mickey Hatcher, Ernie Riles and Scott Bailes were offered pay cuts. Joyner, who made $1.75 million last year, asked for $2.1 million and California offered $1.65 million; Hamilton, who made $465,000, wants $538,000 and Los Angeles submitted $430,000; atcher, who made $500,000 with Los Angeles, wants $600,000 and was offered $450,000; Riles, who made $735,000 with San Francisco, is asking $910,000 and Oakland submitted $675,000; Bailes, who made $425,000 with California, wants $500,000 and was offered $390,000; and McClendon, who made $210,000, asked for $295,000 and was offered $170,000 by Pittsburgh.