Soto gets record $31 million, 1-year deal with Yankees. Guerrero asks for $19.9M from Blue Jays

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FILE - San Diego Padres' Juan Soto follows the flight of his two-run home run against Colorado Rockies starting pitcher Kyle Freeland in the third inning of a baseball game, Wednesday, Aug. 2, 2023, in Denver. Juan Soto, Vladimir Guerrero Jr. and Pete Alonso are among 194 players across Major League Baseball still negotiating salaries for the 2024 season leading into Thursdays Jan. 11, 2024, deadline. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski, File)

NEW YORK – Juan Soto and the New York Yankees agreed Thursday to a $31 million, one-year contract that broke Shohei Ohtani’s record for an arbitration-eligible player.

Toronto slugger Vladimir Guerrero Jr. filed for $19.9 million, the high among 23 players who exchanged figures with their teams among 194 eligible for arbitration at the start of the day.

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Among the 171 others who agreed to deals were New York Mets first baseman Pete Alonso ($20.5 million), Milwaukee right-hander Corbin Burnes ($15,637,500), Atlanta left-hander Max Fried ($15 million), Yankees second baseman Gleyber Torres ($14.2 million), Cleveland right-hander Shane Bieber ($13,125,000), Milwaukee shortstop Willy Adames ($12.25 million), Houston left-hander Framber Valdez ($12.1 million), Astros outfielder Kyle Tucker ($12 million), Baltimore outfielder Anthony Santander ($11.7 million), Arizona first baseman Christian Walker ($10.9 million) and Diamondbacks right-hander Zac Gallen ($10,011,000).

Soto had a $23 million salary last year in his only full season with San Diego and can become a free agent after this season, when he will be 26.

Soto hit .275 with 35 homers, 109 RBIs and a .930 OPS last year with the Padres, who obtained him from Washington on Aug. 2, 2022, after he turned down a $440 million, 15-year offer from the Nationals. Soto was acquired by the Yankees from the Padres last month.

Ohtani played last season under a $30 million, one-year contract with the Los Angeles Angels, a deal agreed to in October 2022. He became a free agent after last year’s World Series and signed a record $700 million, 10-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Toronto offered Guerrero a raise from $14.5 million to $18.05 million. The three-time All-Star hit .264 with 26 homers and 94 RBIs, and is eligible for free agency after the 2025 season.

Adolis García, a postseason star with Texas, had the largest gap at $1.9 million. The outfielder asked for a raise to $6.9 million from $747,600, and the World Series champion Rangers offered $5 million.

Two-time batting champion Luis Arraez asked Miami for a raise to $12 million from $6.1 million after winning his hearing last year, and the Marlins offered the second baseman $10.6 million.

Right-hander Casey Mize and Detroit had the smallest gap at $25,000. The pitcher asked for a raise to $840,000 from $734,200 and the Tigers offered $815,000.

Baltimore entered with the most eligible players at 13 and swapped with five: outfielder Austin Hays ($6.35 million vs. $5.8 million) along with first baseman/outfielder Ryan O'Hearn ($3.8 million vs. $3.2 million), right-hander Jacob Webb ($1 million vs. $925,000) and left-handers Danny Coulombe ($2.4 million vs. $2.2 million) and Cionel Pérez ($1.4 million vs. $1.1 million).

Tampa Bay outfielder Harold Ramírez and right-hander Jason Adam are headed toward hearings after both won their cases against the Rays last winter. Ramírez asked for an increase to $4.3 million from $2.2 million, and was offered $3.8 million; Adam requested a raise from $1,775,000 to $3.25 million, and was offered $2.7 million.

Players without agreements will be scheduled for hearings before three-person panels from Jan. 29 through Feb. 16 in Scottsdale, Arizona.

In the hours after the swap, reliever Devin Williams and Milwaukee agreed to a $7.25 million, one-year contract, a deal with a team option that could be worth $18.5 million for two seasons plus award bonuses.

Teams have won the majority of decisions for four straight years, going 13-6 in 2023. They lead players 347-257 since arbitration started in 1974.



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