While the first two arbitration cases of 1991 were argued in Los Angeles, at least nine players settled on new contracts yesterday with Boston's Tom Brunansky, Seattle's Dave Valle and Cincinnati's Billy Hatcher getting multiyear deals and the Reds' Chris Sabo quadrupling his salary.

Outfielder Brunansky and the Red Sox avoided arbitration by less than 24 hours by agreeing in principle last night on a multiyear contract worth about $8 million.

Catcher Benito Santiago and the San Diego Padres went before arbitrator Rols Valtin. Outfielder Mike Aldrete and the Montreal Expos argued before arbitrator John Caraway.

Santiago is asking $2.5 million and would set an arbitration record if he wins, topping Don Mattingly's $1,975,000 in 1987. San Diego is offering Santiago $1.65 million. He made $1.25 million last year as a winner in arbitration against the Padres' offer of $750,000 for 1990.

Aldrete ($297,500 last season) is asking for $510,000; Montreal is offering $350,000.

Brunansky's agent said his man's deal is for "two years and an option." He declined to give details, but Brunansky had filed for $2.75 million in arbitration for 1991 and the Red Sox had offered $2 million. His 1990 pay was $1.5 million.

Valle, in the Mariners organization since entering pro ball in 1978, is guaranteed $3.6 million under his new deal: a $200,000 signing bonus, $600,000 in 1991, $1.3 million in 1992 and $1.5 million in 1993. The catcher made $510,000 in 1990.

Hatcher, who set a World Series record with seven consecutive hits in igniting the Reds' sweep of Oakland, agreed to a two-year contract worth $3.2 million with a club option for 1993. The outfielder made $690,000 last season.

Meanwhile another 1990 World Series hero, third baseman Sabo, agreed with Cincinnati at $1.25 million, a raise of $990,000.

Catcher Mike LaValliere and the Pittsburgh Pirates compromised at $925,000, a raise of $270,000.

Second baseman Jeff Treadway tripled his salary when Atlanta settled at $770,000. Left-hander Greg Cadaret and the New York Yankees settled at $620,000, a raise of $315,250. First baseman Mickey Hatcher and Los Angeles agreed to $550,000, a $50,000 raise. Shortstop Felix Fermin and Cleveland also settled at $550,000, a $245,000 raise.