First baseman Rafael Palmeiro scored the second arbitration victory against Texas in two days when he was given a $3.85-million salary instead of the Rangers' offer of $2.35 million. Arbitrator Gil Vernon made the decision a day after Ranger outfielder Ruben Sierra won a record $5 million. Palmeiro, 27, made $1.475 million last season, when he hit a career-best .322 with 26 homers and 88 runs batted in.
On the next to last day of the arbitration period, there was still no word on the case of Cincinnati pitcher Greg Swindell. The 27-year-old left-hander, 9-16 last year for Cleveland, is asking for a raise from $2,025,000 to $3,675,000. The Reds are offering $2.5 million.
Two relievers avoided arbitration by agreeing Thursday to one-year contracts. Just minutes before his hearing was to begin, reliever Mike Henneman and Detroit settled at $2,437,500, a raise of $1,337,500. Left-hander Lee Guetterman and the New York Yankees agreed at $1.6 million, a raise of $550,000. Guetterman was 2-4 last season.