- Associated Press - Thursday, February 18, 2016

NEW YORK (AP) - AL Cy Young Award winner Dallas Keuchel received the steepest increase among the 156 players in salary arbitration this year, according to a study by The Associated Press.

The salary of the Houston Astros ace rose 1,282 percent, from $524,500 to $7.25 million, after he went 20-8 with a 2.48 ERA in 33 starts and set a major league record by going 16-0 at home. He was the starting pitcher in the All-Star game and his ERA was second in the AL.

St. Louis closer Trevor Rosenthal was second at 928 percent, getting a hike from $545,000 to $5.6 million. He set a Cardinals record with 48 saves last season and has a big league-high 93 saves during the last two years.

Arizona outfielder A.J. Pollock was third at 887 percent, getting an increase from $519,500 to an average of $5,125,000 as part of a two-year deal.

Just 10 players agreed to multiyear contracts, the fewest among players who filed for arbitration since nine in 2004. The only player who received a deal of more than two years was Miami second baseman Dee Gordon, who reached a $50 million, five-year agreement after winning the NL batting title.

The 156 players averaged a 96 percent increase, from $1.89 million to $3.71 million. That is up from an 88 percent rise last year, when the 175 players who filed for arbitration averaged $3.63 million.

Every player in arbitration got a raise except for New York Mets reliever Jenrry Mejia, who was cut from $2,595,000 to $2.47 million following a pair of drug suspensions. Mejia was due back from the second penalty this summer but last week was suspended for a third time, resulting in a lifetime ban.

Just four players went to hearings, and players were 3-1 in cases decided by three-person panels - their first winning record since they went 2-1 in 2011. Management has a 302-224 advantage since arbitration started in 1974.

Three pitchers won their hearings: Toronto’s Jesse Chavez ($4 million), Tampa Bay’s Drew Smyly ($3.75 million) and Cincinnati’s J.J. Hoover ($1.4 million). Astros catcher Jason Castro ($5 million) lost.


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