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Sore-ano?—He Loses Arbitration But Still Gets Record $10M
2006-02-11 20:14
by Mike Carminati

Alfonso Soriano may have lost his arbitration case. Heck, he may not even have a position on his new team, the Nationals. But the man he did break the arbitration record when he was awarded ten million dollars yesterday.

That sounds impressive, but really, he will be making just $2.5 million more than he made last year in Texas. I mean, I wouldn't turn it down, but is that in actuality a big pay raise by baseball standards? I don't know.

That made me wonder what exactly was the greatest pay raise in baseball history and where does Soriano's 2006 hike fall on the list of all-time increases?

So I looked it up.

Well, There are 315 pay hikes that were at least as much as Soriano's $2.5 M pay increase though many were due to free agent signings.

Here are the one-year salary increases of $5M or more:

PlayerYr1TmSalaryYr2TmSalaryIncreasePrev Yrs
Alex Rodriguez2000SEA$4,362,5002001TEX$22,000,000$17,637,5007
Roger Clemens2004HOU$5,000,0002005HOU$18,000,000$13,000,00021
Gary Sheffield1997FLO$6,100,0001998FLO$14,936,667$8,836,66710
Manny Ramirez2000CLE$4,250,0002001BOS$13,050,000$8,800,0008
Carlos Delgado2000TOR$6,600,0002001TOR$13,650,000$7,050,0008
Larry Walker1999COL$5,417,8572000COL$12,142,857$6,725,00011
Matt Morris2002SLN$4,000,0002003SLN$10,500,000$6,500,0005
Adrian Beltre2004LAN$5,000,0002005SEA$11,400,000$6,400,0007
Jason Giambi2001OAK$4,103,3332002NYA$10,428,571$6,325,2387
Shawn Green1999TOR$3,125,0002000LAN$9,416,667$6,291,6677
Chan Ho Park2002TEX$6,884,8032003TEX$13,000,000$6,115,1979
Albert Pujols2003SLN$900,0002004SLN$7,000,000$6,100,0003
Chan Ho Park2000LAN$3,850,0002001LAN$9,900,000$6,050,0007
Bobby Higginson2002DET$5,850,0002003DET$11,850,000$6,000,0008
Ichiro Suzuki2004SEA$6,500,0002005SEA$12,500,000$6,000,0004
Kevin Millwood2002ATL$3,900,0002003PHI$9,900,000$6,000,0006
Miguel Tejada2004BAL$5,000,0002005BAL$11,000,000$6,000,0008
Kevin Brown1998SDN$4,935,0001999LAN$10,714,286$5,779,28612
Carlos Delgado2001TOR$13,650,0002002TOR$19,400,000$5,750,0009
Darren Dreifort2000LAN$3,700,0002001LAN$9,400,000$5,700,0006
Todd Helton2002COL$5,000,0002003COL$10,600,000$5,600,0006
Chipper Jones2000ATL$4,750,0002001ATL$10,333,333$5,583,3337
Brian Giles2000PIT$1,816,6672001PIT$7,333,333$5,516,6666
Sidney Ponson2004BAL$3,000,0002005BAL$8,500,000$5,500,0007
Pat Hentgen1998TOR$3,250,0001999TOR$8,600,000$5,350,0008
Carl Pavano2004FLO$3,800,0002005NYA$9,000,000$5,200,0007
J.D. Drew2004ATL$4,200,0002005LAN$9,400,000$5,200,0007
Cecil Fielder1994DET$4,237,5001995DET$9,237,500$5,000,0009
Derek Jeter1999NYA$5,000,0002000NYA$10,000,000$5,000,0005
Jeromy Burnitz2002NYN$7,166,6672003NYN$12,166,667$5,000,00010
Kevin Brown1999LAN$10,714,2862000LAN$15,714,286$5,000,00013
Magglio Ordonez2003CHA$9,000,0002004CHA$14,000,000$5,000,0007
Mike Piazza2002NYN$10,571,4292003NYN$15,571,429$5,000,00011
Mo Vaughn2002NYN$12,166,6672003NYN$17,166,667$5,000,00011

As far as the percent increase, Soriano comes nowhere near the top. Here are the players who have seen their pay increase an Exxon-like tenfold in a single offseason. Most are arbitration specials:

PlayerYr1TmSalaryYr2TmSalaryPCT IncPrev Yrs
Bo Jackson1992CHA$109,000 1993CHA$2,410,0002211%6
Juan Encarnacion2000DET$325,000 2001DET$4,400,0001354%4
Willis Roberts2002BAL$260,000 2003BAL$3,500,0001346%3
John Cangelosi1986CHA$60,000 1987PIT$800,0001333%2
Pascual Perez1988MON$70,000 1989MON$850,0001214%8
Jose DeLeon1985SDN$155,000 1986PIT$1,825,0001177%3
Kris Benson2000PIT$300,000 2001PIT$3,450,0001150%2
Pedro Martinez1996MON$315,000 1997MON$3,615,0001148%5
Charles Johnson1997FLO$290,000 1998FLO$3,300,0001138%4
Andruw Jones1999ATL$330,000 2000ATL$3,700,0001121%4
Jarrod Washburn2002ANA$350,000 2003ANA$3,875,0001107%5
Richard Hidalgo2000HOU$330,000 2001HOU$3,500,0001061%4
Henry Rodriguez1996MON$220,000 1997MON$2,300,0001045%5
Torii Hunter2001MIN$230,000 2002MIN$2,400,0001043%5
Rick Helling1998TEX$216,500 1999TEX$2,250,0001039%5
Adam Dunn2004CIN$445,000 2005CIN$4,600,0001034%4
Bob Brenly1987SFN$60,000 1988SFN$600,0001000%7
Pete Harnisch1998CIN$300,000 1999CIN$3,000,0001000%11
2006-02-12 21:16:20
1.   das411
Pretty telling that all but one of the quantity increases have been since 1997, gotta love this economy!

This chart also shows that big Cecil was considerably ahead of his time...

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