Ronald Blum of The Associated Press reports that catcher Jeff Mathis won his arbitration hearing with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. He'll receive the $1.3 million he had requested when the sides exchanged figures a month ago.
The Angels had countered Mathis' request with an offer of $700,000. His 2010 salary of $1.3 million is a 189% raise over the $450,000 he made in 2009. The large gap of $600,000 made it difficult for the two to arrive at a compromise. The mid-point between them had been an even $1 million.
The club's record in arbitration falls to 15 - 11 overall. This was their only case that went to hearing this year. The Angels exchanged figures with four players on January 19th. Joe Saunders, Maicer Izturis and Erick Aybar reached deals with the club before getting to a hearing. With Aybar agreeing just yesterday.
Mathis shares the catching duties with Mike Naploi. He's regarded the better defensive catcher, while Napolis provides more punch at the plate. Mathis' rather anemic batting line of .211/.288/.308 in 272 plate appearances ensures that he emphasized his defensive contributions. It's likely his extra innings double that won the third game of the ALCS against New York was mentioned, as well.
With the ruling, only one Theriot's case remains. For more information please refer to the arbitration scorecard. Salary offers and demands for all the players who exchanged figures back on January 19th can be found on the arbitration figures page.
Mathis' win draws the players closer to the owners. The tally for this year stands at 4 - 3 in favor of the owners, with one final ruling, Ryan Theriot against the Cubs, remaining. Overall, the owners hold a 284 - 210 advantage since 1974, which is still an impressive 57.5 percent success rate.
Joe Tetreault is a member of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey.
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