ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. >> Trevor Bauer, Gerrit Cole and Alex Wood won their salary arbitration cases today, giving players a 6-3 advantage over teams to ensure a winning record in consecutive years for the first time since 1989-90.
Bauer won his hearing for the second straight year and was awarded $13 million by James Darby, James Oldham and Sylvia Skratek instead of the Cleveland Indians’ $11 million offer.
Cole was given a $13.5 million salary by Gil Vernon, Steven Wolf and Walt De Treux rather than the Houston Astros’ offer of $11,425,000.
Wood will get $9.65 million instead of the Cincinnati Reds’ $8.7 million offer, Dan Brent, Andrew Strongin and Phillip LaPorte decided.
Bauer and Cole topped the previous high for a salary awarded in an arbitration hearing, $10.5 million won last year by Boston outfielder Mookie Betts.
Bauer, a 28-year-old right-hander, was a first-time All-Star last year and finished sixth in AL Cy Young Award voting after going 12-6 with a 2.21 ERA, second behind Tampa Bay’s Nate Snell. Bauer’s right leg was broken Aug. 11 when hit by a line drive, and he did not return to the mound for the Indians until Sept. 21.
Bauer won a $6,525,000 salary last year in a case decided by Strongin, Wolf and Robert Herzog, who ruled against Cleveland’s $5.3 million offer.
Minnesota’s Kyle Lohse (2005, ‘06), Houston’s Collin McHugh (2017, ‘18) and Tampa Bay’s Jake Odorizzi (2017, ‘18) also won in consecutive years.
Cole, also a 28-year-right-hander, received his second All-Star selection last year and went 15-5 with a 2.88 ERA. He made $6.75 million. Houston has lost five straight cases since beating catcher Jason Castro in 2016, falling to McHugh twice, reliever Ken Giles last year and shortstop Carlos Correa this year.
Wood, a 28-year-old left-hander, was 9-7 with a 3.68 ERA for the Los Angeles Dodgers in 27 starts and six relief appearances last year, when he made $6 million. He was acquired by the Reds on Dec. 21 along with outfielders Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp.
Cole and Wood are eligible for free agency after this season, and Bauer is eligible after the 2020 season.
Players will finish with a winning record for the third time in four years but just the fifth time since 1996 and 11th time since arbitration started in 1974.
Oakland closer Blake Treinen and Tampa Bay outfielder Tommy Pham also won their cases this year, while Washington outfielder Michael A. Taylor, Nationals reliever Kyle Barraclough and Toronto reliever Ryan Tepera lost.
Detroit pitcher Michael Fulmer asked for a raise from $575,200 to $3.4 million on Wednesday, and the Tigers argued for $2.8 million. A decision by Matt Goldberg, Robert Herzog and Elizabeth Neumeier is expected Saturday.
Fulmer was the 2016 AL Rookie of the Year and an All-Star in 2017. A right-hander who turns 26 on March 15, Fulmer was 3-12 with a 4.69 ERA in 132 1/3 innings last year. He didn’t pitch for the Tigers between July 14 and Aug. 24 because of a left oblique strain, then didn’t pitch after Sept. 15 because of a torn right lateral meniscus.
New York Yankees right-hander Luis Severino is the only player still scheduled for a hearing.
Pitcher Aaron Nola avoided a hearing by agreeing to a $45 million, four-year contract with the Philadelphia Phillies.
The 25-year-old right-hander set career bests last year when he was a first-time All-Star, going 17-6 with a 2.37 ERA. He would have been eligible for free agency after the 2021 season.
Nola gets a $2 million signing bonus, $4 million this year, $8 million in 2020, $11.75 million in 2021 and $15 million in 2022. Philadelphia has a $16 million team option for 2023 with a $4.25 million buyout.
Eligible for arbitration for the first time, he had asked for a raise from $573,000 to $6.75 million. The Phillies had offered $4.5 million.
Among the more than 175 players who were eligible for arbitration this year, Nola is the first to get a deal of more than one guaranteed season. Arizona left-hander T.J. MacFarland and Milwaukee catcher Manny Pina agreed to contracts that included 2020 club options.