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Vince Coleman lost his salary arbitration case Saturday and Carlton Fisk became the highest-paid catcher in American League history.

Coleman was awarded $775,000 by arbitrator Frederick Reel, who heard arguments Friday in Chicago, a management source said. Coleman, who made $715,000 last season, had sought $950,000.The 40-year-old Fisk agreed to a complicated one-year contract worth about $1.3 million. He will get $400,000 in 1989 and an additional $1.632 million in deferred income without interest. The deferred payments are worth about $900,000 when discounted to present-day value.

There are 17 players remaining in salary arbitration. The two biggest cases are scheduled for Thursday, pitchers Orel Hershiser and Roger Clemens. Owners have won three cases so far and players have won two.

Fisk, who is 51st on the all-time home run list with 323, batted .277 last season with 19 homers and 50 runs batted in despite missing 70 games with a broken hand. He had asked for $1.45 million and the White Sox had offered $1.2 million.

The agreement was reached Saturday afternoon after a lengthy negotiating session between Jerry Kapstein, Fisk's agent, and Eddie Einhorn, a co-owner of the White Sox.

"Pudge is . . . a future Hall of Famer, and the leader of our ballclub," Einhorn said, referring to Fisk by his nickname. "We look for him to have yet another good year. Under this contract, Pudge will play his ninth season in Chicago, equaling his stay in Boston. He makes the Chicago area his year-round home and obviously, we're pleased to have resolved his contract."

Fisk has hit 20 or more home runs eight times in his major league career and has 1,098 RBI.

Coleman dropped to .260 last season with three home runs, 38 RBI and 81 stolen bases after having the best year of his career in 1987, when he batted .289 with three homers, 43 RBI and 109 stolen bases.