The first victory of Major League Baseball’s salary arbitration season went to the players on Friday, when Corey Hart won his case against the Brewers and thus a $4.8 million salary for 2010.
The Brewers had filed for $4.15 million, and when last-minute negotiations on Thursday didn’t yield a result, the sides went to a hearing in St. Petersburg, Fla. A three-member panel of judges rendered its ruling on Friday morning.
Hart made $3.25 million in a 2009 season interrupted by an emergency appendectomy on Aug. 2 that forced Hart to the disabled list for more than a month. He finished the season with a .260 batting average, 12 home runs, 48 RBIs and 11 stolen bases after collecting at least 20 homers and 20 steals in each of the two seasons prior.
He will turn 28 next month and is penciled in to be Milwaukee’s starting right fielder in 2010. Hart’s hearing was the Brewers’ first since Jose Mercedes won his case against the team in 1998. Overall, the Brewers are now 2-for-4 in hearings.