Despite winning the National League's MVP award, left fielder Barry Bonds of the Pittsburgh Pirates lost at arbitration yesterday.
He'll make $2.3 million this season instead of the $3.3 million he wanted. He got $850,000 last season.
"You've got to remember," club spokesman Rick Cerrone said, "the club offer was almost three times his salary."
It was the Pirates' second straight victory at the table. On Saturday, they got right fielder Bobby Bonilla for $2.4 million; he wanted a record $3.475 million.
Even with Indians pitcher Greg Swindell winning his case yesterday, the owners have a 6-5 lead in arbitrations with 17 hearings to go. But with pitcher Doug Drabek winning his case Thursday, the Pirates have added more than $8 million to this season's payroll.
Bonds and Bonilla also lost at arbitration in 1990. Last season, Bonds wanted $1.6 million; he made less than $400,000 in 1989.
Bonilla and Bonds will be paid less than hitters with comparable power statistics. Glenn Davis signed a $3.25 million contract with the Baltimore Orioles and Fred McGriff agreed to a multiyear deal with San Diego that averages $3,812,500 a year.
Bonds thinks he should be paid similarly to Darryl Strawberry and Jose Canseco -- more than $20 million over five years.
But Bonilla said he's "ready to play ball. This has not been a fun offseason. I'll just have to have my fun playing ball."
Does he plan to seek a multiyear deal from the Pirates?
"I think the Pirates know what I'll do," he said. "They have a pretty good idea. They've managed to win twice. I don't have to do that anymore."
Swindell will make $2.025 million in 1991 instead of the $1.4 million Cleveland offered.
He made $890,000 last season when he went 12-9 with a 4.40 ERA. His agent is Randy Hendricks, brother of Alan Hendricks. The brothers are 7-0 at arbitration since 1983, including a record award of $3,350,000 to Drabek on Thursday.
The Indians avoided arbitration with pitcher John Farrell. He made $320,000 last season and agreed to a one-year deal for $410,000. He's had arm surgery and isn't expected to pitch until late season.
Ivan Calderon avoided arbitration and signed a three-year contract worth $7.8 million with the Montreal Expos. The White Sox paid him $950,000 last season.