Millwood Loses Arbitration Case

Wednesday, February 14th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

Kevin Millwood is getting a huge raise, just not as large as the one he hoped for.

The Atlanta Braves pitcher lost his salary arbitration case Tuesday, leaving players and owners tied 3-3 in cases decided this year.

Millwood, who made $420,000 last season, will get $3.1 million this year. He was seeking $3.9 million.

Arbitrators Richard Bloch, Stephen Goldberg and Alan Symonette made the decision Tuesday, a day after hearing the case in Phoenix.

Dodgers pitcher Antonio Osuna, whose case also was argued Tuesday, didn't wait for a decision and agreed Wednesday to a $1.5 million, one-year contract.

Five other players in arbitration agreed to contracts, with Florida closer Antonio Alfonseca getting a $6 million, two-year deal.

Agreeing to one-year deals were Colorado shortstop Neifi Perez ($3.55 million), Baltimore right-hander Sidney Ponson ($2.1 million), St. Louis right-hander Matt Morris ($1.2 million) and Philadelphia right-hander Wayne Gomes ($925,000).

Meanwhile, three closers went before arbitrators Tuesday.

Atlanta's controversial John Rocker, who made $290,000 last season, asked Jack Clarke, Jerome Ross and Elliot Shriftman for $2.98 million. The Braves offered $1.9 million to the left-hander, who went 1-2 with a 2.89 ERA and 24 saves in a season that began with a two-week suspension for making disparaging comments to Sports Illustrated.

Keith Foulke of the Chicago White Sox asked Reginald Alleyne, Roger Kaplan and Symonette for a raise from $445,000 to $3.1 million. Chicago offered $2.2 million.

Foulke was 2-1 with a 2.97 ERA and 34 saves last year as Chicago won the AL Central.

Cincinnati's Danny Graves asked Dan Brent, Goldberg and Kenneth Perea for a raise from $400,000 to $3,075,000, while Cincinnati argued for $2.1 million. Graves was 10-5 with a 2.56 ERA and 30 saves last season.

Nineteen players remain in arbitration, with hearings scheduled through Feb. 21.

Millwood's agent, Scott Boras, has lost his last seven arbitration cases and eight of nine since winning five in a row during 1995 and 1996.

Other Boras clients who lost during the streak included Charles Johnson, Johnny Damon, Darren Oliver, Jorge Fabregas and Travis Lee.

``It's difficult sometimes in this arena to portray the player,'' Boras said, ``but when you look back at the losses and the performances the players have had after the losses, I must say our numbers were supported by the performances.''

Osuna, 3-6 with a 3.74 ERA in 46 relief appearances for Los Angeles, asked for a raise from $971,045 to $1.85 million. The Dodgers offered Osuna $1.3 million.