NEW YORK, FEB. 4 -- Kal Daniels and Mark Grace tripled their salaries and avoided arbitration today by agreeing to one-year contracts.
Daniels, 27, an outfielder, and the Los Angeles Dodgers settled at $2,025,000. He made $600,000 last season, when he batted .296 with 27 home runs and 94 RBI in 130 games. He had wanted $2.4 million while the Dodgers offered $1.65 million.
Grace, 26, a first baseman who made $325,000 in 1990, agreed with the Chicago Cubs at $1.2 million. He was one of the players with between two and three years of major league service who became eligible for arbitration this year because of the new collective bargaining agreement. He hit .309 last year -- his third consecutive National League top 10 finish -- with nine homers and 82 RBI.
Two others agreed to contracts, reducing the players in arbitration to 82. Shortstop Kurt Stillwell almost doubled his salary, settling with the Kansas City Royals at $1.28 million, a raise of $485,000. Houston and infielder-outfielder Casey Candaele settled at $350,000, a raise of $227,500.
The Texas Rangers agreed to minor league contracts with pitcher Charlie Kerfeld and catcher Mike Stanley. The Baltimore Orioles agreed to minor league contracts with pitchers Roy Smith and Israel Sanchez.
World Series most valuable player Jose Rijo says he and the Cincinnati Reds are so far apart on salary issues that arbitration is inevitable. Rijo, 14-8 with a 2.70 ERA in 1990, wants $2.9 million in arbitration; his hearing is scheduled for Feb. 19. The Reds have offered $1.6 million. "We're not even close, not even halfway yet," he said. "I'm not surprised."