Mets’ Davis, O’s Santander lose arbitration, Rays’ Choi wins

NEW YORK (AP) — The New York Mets defeated third baseman and outfielder J.D. Davis, the Baltimore Orioles beat outfielder Anthony Santander and first baseman Ji-Man Choi defeated the Tampa Bay Rays in the first three of 13 scheduled salary arbitration cases this month.

Davis receives a raise from $592,463 to $2.1 million rather than his $2,475,000 request.

The decision by Gil Vernon, Mark Burstein and Jeanne Vonhof was announced Friday, three days after they heard the case. Because of the pandemic, hearings are being conducted by Zoom for the first time rather than in person.

Davis, 27, hit .247 with six homers and 19 RBIs during the pandemic-shortened season.

Santander gets a raise from $572,500 to $2.1 million rather than his $2,475,000 request, the same figures exchanged by Davis and the Mets. Santander’s case was heard Wednesday by arbitrators Melinda Gordon, Richard Bloch and Frederic Horowitz.

Santander, 26, hit .261 with 11 homers and 32 RBIs in the pandemic-shortened season. He was eligible for arbitration for the first time.

The 29-year-old Choi receives a raise to $2.45 million instead of the Rays’ $1.85 million offer. Margaret Brogan, Gary Kendellen and Brian Keller heard the case Thursday.

Choi hit .230 with three homers and 16 RBIs last year, then batted .240 (10 for 40) with two homers and four RBIs as the Rays advanced to the World Series and lost to the Los Angeles Dodgers. He batted .261 with 19 homers and 63 RBIs in 2019.

Choi had a base salary of $850,000 last year and earned $427,148 in prorated pay, including performance bonuses.

Right-hander Jack Flaherty went to a hearing with St. Louis on Friday, asking for a raise from $604,500 to $3.9 million. The Cardinals argued for $3 million to arbitrators Howard Edelman and Steven Wolf and Walt De Treux.

Flaherty was 4-3 with a 4.91 ERA in nine starts, striking out 49 and walking 16 in 40 1/3 innings. He was eligible for arbitration for the first time.

Still scheduled for hearings are Los Angeles Dodgers catcher Austin Barnes and pitcher Walker Buehler; Tampa Bay reliever Ryan Yarbrough; Houston shortstop Carlos Correa; Chicago Cubs outfielder Ian Happ; Los Angeles Angels pitcher/outfielder Shohei Ohtani; San Francisco second baseman Donovan Solano; and Atlanta pitcher Mike Sorotka and shortstop Dansby Swanson.

Teams won seven of 12 hearings last year, including six of the first seven, and had a winning record for the fourth time in six years.

There were 112 players eligible for arbitration who agreed to one-year contracts on Jan. 15, the day players and figures swapped proposed figures. Those with deals included New York Mets shortstop Francisco Lindor ($22.3 million), Cubs third baseman Kris Bryant ($19.5 million), Dodgers outfielder/first baseman Cody Bellinger ($16.1 million) and shortstop Corey Seager ($13.75 million), coming off the NL Championship Series and World Series MVP awards.

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