Happ beats Cubs in arbitration; teams finish with 5-4 record

Sports

FILE – In this March 20, 2020, file photo, Chicago Cubs’ Ian Happ hits against the San Francisco Giants during the first inning of a spring training baseball game in Scottsdale, Ariz. Happ became the final player this year to go to a hearing. Happ asked for a raise from $624,000 to $4.1 million during a Zoom session Thursday, Feb. 18, 2021, and the Cubs argued he should be paid $3.25 million. A decision by arbitrators Frederic Horowitz, Steven Wolf and Jules Bloch is expected Friday. (AP Photo/Matt York, File)

MESA, Ariz. (AP) — Outfielder Ian Happ defeated the Chicago Cubs in baseball’s final salary arbitration case this year on Friday and will get a raise from $624,000 to $4.1 million.

Teams finished with a 5-4 advantage in cases that went to a hearing, their second straight winning record after two consecutive years in which players had an advantage. Overall, teams are 325-247 since arbitration began in 1974.

A day after hearing arguments, arbitrators Frederic Horowitz, Steven Wolf and Jules Bloch decided in favor of Happ’s figure rather than the team’s $3.25 million.

Happ, 26, hit .258 with 12 homers and 28 RBIs over 198 at-bats during the shortened season. He was eligible for arbitration for the first time after earning $231,111 in prorated pay.

St. Louis pitcher Jack Flaherty ($3.9 million), Braves pitcher Mike Soroka ($2.8 million) and Rays first baseman Ji-Man Choi ($2.45 million) also won their cases.

Teams beat Atlanta shortstop Dansby Swanson ($6 million), San Francisco infielder Donovan Solano ($3.25 million), Tampa Bay pitcher Ryan Yarbrough ($2.3 million), New York Mets third baseman/outfielder J.D. Davis ($2.1 million) and Baltimore outfielder Anthony Santander ($2.1 million).

All hearings were held by Zoom for the first time this year due to the pandemic.

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