TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — The average raise for a player in salary arbitration was 117 percent this year, according to a study by The Associated Press, led by steep hikes for Freddie Freeman, Craig Kimbrel, Giancarlo Stanton and Michael Brantley.
The 146 players who filed for arbitration averaged $3,859,912 under their new contracts, up from $1,778,081 under their previous deals. The average increase was just below the 119 percent increase last year.
Atlanta gave Freeman a 30-fold rise from $560,000 to an average of $16,875,000 as part of a $135 million, eight-year contract. The agreement with the first baseman is the largest in team history.
Kimbrel, the Braves' closer, received a 16-fold hike from $560,000 to an average of $10.5 million in a $42 million, four-year deal.
Stanton, a slugging outfielder with the Miami Marlins, got a 12-fold increase from $537,000 to $6.5 million.
Brantley, who led Cleveland in batting average while going errorless in the outfield, saw his salary rise 11-fold, from $526,900 to an average of $6.25 million in a $25 million, four-year agreement.
Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Clayton Kershaw, a two-time NL Cy Young Award winner, got a threefold raise, but the numbers were far higher because he has five years of major league service and was one season from free agency. After averaging $9.75 million under a two-year deal, the left-hander agreed to a $215 million, seven-year contract, the largest deal for a pitcher in baseball history.
Just 11 players received multiyear contracts, down from 15 last year matching 2012 for the fewest since nine in 2004.
Cincinnati's Aroldis Chapman was the only player whose salary went down, and that's only because his previous contract included a $16.25 million signing bonus after he defected from Cuba. The pitcher averaged $6,325,000 under a deal that covered 2010-13 and paid him a $2 million salary last year.