Chalk another one up for the owners.
Alejandro Pena and Kal Daniels agreed to one-year contracts Wednesday as baseball owners extended their arbitration winning streak to six with a victory by the New York Mets over shortstop Kevin Elster.Arbitrator Robert Creo, deciding his first case, awarded Elster $760,000 rather than the player's request for $1.35 million. His loss meant owners are 8-2 in cases decided thus far.
Elster made $625,000 last season, when he started slowly following shoulder surgery, hitting .241 with six homers and 36 RBIs.
Pena, a star of Atlanta's pennant drive, agreed to $2.65 million, a raise of $1.65 million. After the Braves acquired him from the Mets on Aug. 28, he went 11-for-11 in save situations down the stretch and was 2-0 with a 1.40 ERA. He saved three games during the NL playoffs, but was the losing pitcher in Game 7 of the World Series against Minnesota.
Pena, 8-1 overall with 15 saves and a 2.40 ERA, became a free agent following the Series, but returned to the Braves on Dec. 19 by accepting the arbitration offer. He had asked for $2.95 million and Atlanta had offered $2.1 million.
Daniels, who made $2,025,000 in 1991, agreed at $2.5 million, well below his midpoint of $2,875,000. The 28-year-old outfielder, who hit .249 with 17 home runs and 73 RBIs last season, had asked for $3.5 million while the Dodgers had offered $2.25 million.
Los Angeles acquired outfielder Eric Davis from Cincinnati during the offseason and has been discussing possible trades involving Daniels, who has feuded with Darryl Strawberry during the winter.
Four other players settled Wednesday, leaving 31 left in arbitration with seven hearing days remaining.
California reliever Mark Eichhorn agreed to a one-year deal with an option for a guaranteed $1.9 million. Eichhorn, who made $680,000 last season, gets $1.75 million this season and the Angels have an option for 1993 at $2 million with a $150,000 buyout. He also can earn $110,000 in appearance bonuses each year, and any bonuses earned this year would be added to his 1993 base salary.