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Soto, Alonso, Guerrero get big deals, avoid arbitration

Championship Series - San Diego Padres v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Five

PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - OCTOBER 23: Juan Soto #22 of the San Diego Padres strikes out during the sixth inning against the Philadelphia Phillies in game five of the National League Championship Series at Citizens Bank Park on October 23, 2022 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

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NEW YORK — Juan Soto, Pete Alonso and Vladimir Guerrero Jr. reached big-money agreements on one-year contracts that avoided salary arbitration.

Soto got a $23 million deal with San Diego, tied for the fourth-highest one-year contract among arbitration-eligible players. Shohei Ohtani set the record when the two-way star agreed last fall to a $30 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels.

Soto also trailed Mookie Betts ($27 million with Boston in 2020) and Nolan Arenado ($26 million with Colorado in 2019), and he matched Josh Donaldson’s $23 million with Toronto in 2018.

In addition to the deal with the outfielder, San Diego also reached a $14.1 million, one-year agreement with Josh Hader, the largest salary for an arbitration-eligible relief pitcher.

The high-spending New York Mets struck a $14.5 million deal with Alonso, who tied for the major league lead with 131 RBIs last season. The first baseman nearly doubled his $7.4 million salary.

Guerrero agreed to the same figure with Toronto, the first baseman increasing his salary from $7.9 million.

Left-hander Julio Urías settled with the Los Angeles Dodgers at $14.25 million, first baseman Rhys Hoskins with NL champion Philadelphia at $12 million, two-time All-Star right-hander Shane Bieber with Cleveland at $10.01 million and left-hander Jordan Montgomery with St. Louis at $10 million.

Minnesota right-hander Chris Paddack, recovering from Tommy John surgery in May, agreed to a $12.5 million, three-year contract, a person familiar with the negotiations said, speaking on condition of anonymity because the deal is subject to a successful physical. Paddack gets $2.5 million in each of the next two seasons and $7.5 million in 2025.

For players and teams who fail to strike deals, arguments before three-person panels will be scheduled for Jan. 30 to Feb. 17 in St. Petersburg, Florida. They will be the first in-person hearings since 2020, just before the pandemic.

Teams have won the majority of decisions for three straight years and lead players 334-251 since arbitration started in 1974.