The fallout from Orel Hershiser's remarkable 1988 performance continued Thursday when the Los Angeles Dodgers and their star pitcher submitted the highest respective proposals in the history of salary arbitration.
Hershiser, New York Mets pitcher Dwight Gooden, Minnesota Twins outfielder Kirby Puckett and Boston Red Sox pitcher Roger Clemens submitted proposals for more than $2 million, and 20 others seek salaries of more than $1 million.Hershiser submitted a proposal for $2.425 million, $450,000 more than the previous high, established by Don Mattingly of the New York Yankees two years ago. The Dodgers' proposal of $2 million, meanwhile, exceeds by $150,000 the previous high for a proposal from a team, established by the Chicago Cubs last year in the Andre Dawson case.
Clemens ($2.36 million), Puckett ($2.15 million) and Gooden ($2.079 million) also would surpass Mattingly's record if they were to win their cases.
Sixteen players would be awarded 1989 salaries of $1 million or more even if they lose their cases.
The number of players filing for arbitration increased to 109. One player, Dodgers pitcher Ray Searage, filed numbers and then settled. Steve Lyons of the Chicago White Sox withdrew from arbitration, and California Angels pitcher Stew Cliburn did not exchange figures because his eligibility for the process was disputed by the Player Relations Committee. Players must have three years of major-league service to qualify for arbitration.
Gooden, who lost in arbitration last year, is seeking an increase from his 1988 salary of $1.4 million to $2.079 million, more than any Mets player earns in straight salary. The club, which also is negotiating with Gooden's agent for a multiyear contract, has proposed a raise of $275,000 to $1.675 million for arbitration. Gooden was one of 11 players to lose in arbitration last year. Players prevailed in seven cases.