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MLB notebook: Posey earns biggest raise

| Tuesday, Feb. 19, 2013, 7:06 p.m.
REUTERS
San Francisco Giants catcher Buster Posey catches a pitch during MLB Cactus League spring training workouts at the team's facility in Scottsdale, Arizona, February 17, 2013. REUTERS/Ralph D. Freso (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

Reserved for the better part of February for the contentious process of salary arbitration, the Ellis East Room on the second floor of the Hyatt Regency Phoenix went unused. For the first time since arbitration began in 1974, none of the players who filed wound up arguing their cases.

After peaking at 35 hearings in 1986, the number of salary arbitration cases argued hasn't reached double digits since 2001. The total dropped to a record low of three in 2005, '09 and '11, and then there were none at all this year.

All 133 players who filed last month settled, gaining an average increase of 119 percent, according to a study by The Associated Press. San Francisco catcher Buster Posey, the NL batting champion and MVP, led the way with a 13-fold hike to $8 million.

“While I do believe that this year was an aberration, the salary structure for arbitration-eligible players has become more well-defined over the last decade or so as clubs and player agents have become more sophisticated in valuing players,” MLB senior vice president Dan Halem said. “That factor, combined with the relatively recent trend of locking up pre-arbitration and arbitration-eligible players to multiyear contracts, probably has contributed to the decline in the number of hearings.”

Detwiler will pitch in WBC

Nationals left-hander Ross Detwiler will pitch for Team USA in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. The 26-year-old Detwiler will be the second Nationals pitcher to play for Team USA, joining Gio Gonzalez.

Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said the club is “honored” that Team USA wants two of Washington's starting pitchers. Rizzo said, “We're flattered about it. I know Ross is really fired up for it.”

Garza out 1 week with injury

Cubs starter Matt Garza is expected to miss one week with a side muscle injury he sustained while throwing live batting practice.

Garza felt a twinge in his side Sunday, when he faced batters for the first time since last July. He underwent an MRI on Monday that revealed a “mild strain” in his side. General manager Jed Hoyer said Garza must be pain free before he does any more throwing. Hoyer called the diagnosis good news and said Garza is in good spirits.

Back stiffness troubles Hughes

Yankees pitcher Phil Hughes has upper back stiffness and will be sidelined for a few days.

Hughes was hurt Monday during a defensive drill covering first base.

“There's always a little bit of concern, but it's upper back by his shoulder blades, so we'll see how he is in a couple days,” manager Joe Girardi said.

Chipper's number will be retired

Chipper Jones, an eight-time All-Star third baseman with the Braves, will have his No. 10 jersey retired this summer.

The Braves will induct Jones, who retired after last season, into its Hall of Fame and retire his number during a ceremony on June 28, preceding a game against the Diamondbacks, the team said in a statement.

Jones will be the ninth Braves' player to have his number retired and 25th person enshrined in the team's hall.

‘Big Train' auction

Hall of Fame pitcher Walter Johnson's family is putting some keepsakes up for auction.

A ticket from Game 7 of the 1924 World Series is one of the items up for bids Saturday at Heritage Auctions in New York. It's thought to be the only surviving ticket from the game that still has its perforations intact, having never been torn by a ticket-taker.

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