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Stevens and Johnson in Arbitration

February 19, 2000

NEW YORK (AP) _ Texas first baseman Lee Stevens and Baltimore catcher Charles Johnson asked for raises Friday in the final two salary arbitration cases this year.

Stevens, who hit .282 with 24 homers and 81 RBIs, asked a three-person panel in Tampa, Fla., for a raise from $2.1 million to $4.7 million. The Rangers argued the 32-year-old should be paid $3.5 million.

Johnson, who won in arbitration in 1998 and lost last year, asked for a raise from $3.6 million to $5.1 million, the same amount he requested last winter. The Orioles countered at $4.6 million.

Johnson, 35, hit .251 last season with 16 homers and 54 RBIs in 1999.

Players held a 4-3 lead with three cases left to be decided: those of Stevens, Johnson and New York Yankees closer Mariano Rivera.

Rivera, who won in arbitration last year, argued Thursday for a raise from $4.25 million to $9.25 million. The Yankees argued for $7.25 million.

Decisions in all three cases are expected Saturday.

Johnson’s case is being decided by arbitrators Stephen Goldberg, Elisabeth Neumeier and Ted High, and Stevens’ case by I.B. Helburn, Howard Block and Reginald Alleyne.

Neumeier and Block also are on the panel deciding Rivera’s case and asked for the extra day to make a decision. The third person on the closer’s panel is Alan Symonette, who also is the arbitrator hearing the grievance of Richie Phillips’ Major League Umpires Association, which is trying to regain the jobs of 22 umps let go last Sept. 2.

That case resumes Thursday in Philadelphia.

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