ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Reliever Tony Watson has lost to the Pittsburgh Pirates in salary arbitration and will make $5.6 million this year rather than $6 million.
Arbitrators Gil Vernon, Jeanne Wood and Steven Wolf made their decision Thursday, a day after hearing arguments.
Watson had a 3.06 ERA in 70 relief appearances for the Pirates last year along with a 2-5 record. The 31-year-old left-hander earned $3.45 million. Watson was an All-Star in 2014, when he was 10-2 with a 1.63 ERA. He had a 1.91 ERA in 2015. He is eligible for free agency after this season.
Teams have won seven of 13 cases, and the sides are on track for 15 hearings, the most since teams won 10 of 16 decisions in 1994.
Two relievers are scheduled for hearings this week: the New York Yankees' Dellin Betances and Baltimore's Brad Brach.