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Kyle Tucker, Astros go to salary arbitration with $2.5M gap

MLB: Houston Astros at Tampa Bay Rays

Sep 21, 2022; St. Petersburg, Florida, USA; Houston Astros right fielder Kyle Tucker (30) runs the bases after hitting a two-run home run against the Tampa Bay Rays in the eighth inning at Tropicana Field. Mandatory Credit: Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - All-Star outfielder Kyle Tucker went to salary arbitration with the World Series champion Houston Astros on Wednesday, asking for $7.5 million rather than the team’s $5 million offer.

The $2.5 million gap matched the largest among 33 players who exchanged proposed salaries with their teams last month. The case was heard by John Stout, Fredric Horowitz and Jules Bloch, who are holding their decision until after additional cases.

Tucker, 26, hit .257 with 30 homers, a career-best 107 RBIs and 25 stolen bases last year after batting .294 with 30 homers and 92 RBIs in 2021. He had a $764,200 salary last year and was eligible for arbitration for the first time.

Astros right-hander Cristian Javier remains scheduled for a hearing. Also eligible for the first time, Javier has asked for a raise from $749,100 to $3.5 million and has been offered $3 million.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

Decisions also are pending for Tampa Bay relievers Colin Poche and Ryan Thompson, and for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Also Wednesday, utilityman Dylan Moore and the Seattle Mariners finalized a three-year contract worth $8,875,000, avoiding a hearing.

Sixteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17.