Orel Hershiser's salary is going up as fast as his earned-run average went down.
Hershiser didn't allow a run in his final 59 innings last season. But he got almost all the numbers he wanted Thursday, when the Los Angeles Dodgers agreed to a three-year contract worth $7.9 million - breaking almost every salary recordin the history of baseball.Capping a winter of contracts that were inconceivable just four months ago, Hershiser broke the records for average annual salary, top salary in a season and biggest raise.
- Including a prorated share of the signing bonus, Hershiser will make $2,766,667 this season, the highest salary of any player, topping the $2,466,667 of Baltimore's Cal Ripken.
Hershiser started out demanding $10 million over four years. During a fruitless four-hour meeting on Wednesday night at Claire's home in Pasadena. Hershiser was asking $8.35 million and the Dodgers were offering $6.8 million.
But before the start of Thursday's scheduled arbitration hearing, both sides began to move, according to Los Angeles owner Peter O"Malley. The Dodgers went up to $7.1 million, then $7.4 million.
Hershiser ended last season going 23-8 with a 2.26 ERA, ending the season with a record-breaking 59 consecutive scoreless innings. He then was named the MostValuable Player of the National League play-offs, MVP of the World Series, and won the NL Cy Young Award.
Hershiser's deal was not only last-minute negotiation. Outfielder Eric Davis and the Cincinnati Reds agreed at 1 a.m. Thursday to a one-year contract for $1.35 million. Davis, who made $929,000 in 1988, can make an additional $230,000 in incentives.
In a later than last-minute deal, Tom Browning and the Reds agreed to a one-year contract that doubles his salary. The left-hander will get $1.025 million, a raise of $582,500.
There was one arbitration ruling Thursday. Pete Incaviglia of the Texas lost his case and was awarded $475,000 by Thomas Roberts, rather than the $828,000 the outfielder asked for. Incaviglia made $275,000 last season.