Following victories by owners in the first two salary arbitration cases of the year, Arizona catcher Jorge Fabregas tried to stop the players' losing streak.
During a hearing in Phoenix on Monday, Fabregas asked a three-man panel for a five-fold raise from $275,000 to $1.5 million. The expansion Diamondbacks countered at $875,000.Arizona's fourth pick in the expansion draft, Fabregas hit .258 for the Chicago White Sox last season, with seven homers and 51 RBIs in 360 at-bats.
Arbitrators Robert Creo, Roger Kaplan and Jerome Ross are expected to issue their decision today or Wednesday.
Houston settled on one-year contracts with two players, leaving nine still in arbitration. Shortstop Ricky Gutierrez agreed to $800,000, and outfielder Carl Everett agreed to $950,000.
Gutierrez made $420,000 last year. He asked for $1,075,000 in arbitration, and Houston offered $600,000. A hearing had been scheduled for Wednesday.
He hit .261 last season with 14 doubles, three homers and 34 RBIs. In addition to his base salary, he can earn $50,000 in performance bonuses: $25,000 each for 325 and 375 plate appearances.
Everett, who made $205,000 last year, asked for $1.45 million, and Houston offered $700,000. He hit .248 last year with 14 homers and 57 RBIs and for the New York Mets and was obtained in an offseason trade for reliever John Hudek.
In addition to his base salary, Everett can make $950,000 in performance bonuses.
Bernie Williams tops the list of players scheduled for hearings later this week, the final week of arbitration hearings.
Also scheduled are Atlanta catcher Javy Lopez, Florida catcher Charles Johnson, San Diego right-hander Joey Hamilton and Chicago White Sox infielder Ray Durham.