Bobby Bonilla lost his bid for a record arbitration award on Saturday, while outfielders Ellis Burks and Ruben Sierra avoided hearings by agreeing to one-year deals.
Bonilla had asked for $3,475,000 in arbitration, but instead will make $2.4 million from Pittsburgh in 1991.Cy Young Award winner Doug Drabek won his case with the Pirates, and was awarded a record $3,350,000 in salary arbitration on Thursday. Bonilla's $2.4 million is the second highest total in arbitration history.
While it was a victory of sorts for the Pirates, they may lose in the long run since Bonilla is eligible for free agency after this season.
The Pirates final offer to Bonilla prior to Thursday's hearing was $15.5 million for four years. Bonilla, who made $1,250,000 last season, took a gamble he'll be worth even more on the open market after the season.
Bonilla moved from third base to right field last season and helped the Pirates win the NL East title by hitting .280 with 32 homers and 120 RBIs.
The Pirates, 1-1 in arbitration, argued their case against National League MVP Barry Bonds on Friday. Second baseman Jose Lind's case will be heard on Wednesday.
Bonds is seeking $3.3 million and the Pirates offered $2.3 million. Lind wants $950,000 and the Pirates offered $575,000.
Nine cases have been settled in arbitration with the owners holding a 5-4 advantage. The signings of Sierra and Burks leave 19 players remaining in arbitration.
Boston avoided arbitration with Burks, signing the center fielder to a one-year contract for $1.825 million on Saturday. Burks was the last of eight Red Sox players who had filed for arbitration. His arbitration hearing had been scheduled for Monday.
"We are delighted to have Ellis signed for 1991 since he is such a vital part of the team," general manager Lou Gorman said.
A member of the American League All-Star team last season, Burks won a Gold Glove award. He had a .296 batting average in 152 games with 21 home runs and 89 RBIs.
Sierra on Saturday agreed to a one-year, $2,625,000 contract for 1991 with Texas, a $1 million raise over last year. Sierra had asked for $3.1 million and the Rangers had countered with a $2 million offer.
Sierra, 25, had an off-year in 1990 after hitting .306 with 29 homers and a league-leading 119 RBIs in 1989. He tailed off to .280 with 16 home runs and 97 RBIs in 1990. He also had a league-high 10 errors in right field.
Sierra's agents and team officials had feared that listening to criticisms of his performance during a hearing would have hurt Sierra's pride and performance.
"He's a very prideful guy," said Rangers assistant general manager Wayne Krivsky, who negotiated on the club's behalf. "But that goes both ways. How Ruben might have responded certainly was a consideration in getting this settled. It had some weight.
The Seattle Mariners announced Saturday that they have signed pitchers Rich DeLucia and Brent Knackert to contracts for the 1991 season. The Mariners have signed 22 of the 40 players on their roster.