February 07, 2015

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Teams improved to 3-1 in salary arbitration when the Pittsburgh Pirates beat second baseman Neil Walker on Saturday and the Oakland Athletics defeated pitcher Jarrod Parker.

Walker was awarded $8 million instead of his $9 million request in a decision by Gil Vernon, Steven Wolf and Mark Burstein. Walker led NL second baseman with a career-best 23 homers last year, when he made $5.75 million. He hit .271 with 76 RBIs in 137 games for the Pirates, who earned their second straight NL wild-card berth.

Parker was given an $850,000 salary by Elizabeth Neumeier, Robert Herzog and Mark Irvings instead of his request of $1.7 million. A 26-year-old right-hander, Parker was sidelined after getting hurt during spring training and having elbow ligament-replacement surgery for the second time.

Parker made his big league debut with one appearance in 2011 and is 25-16 with a 3.68 ERA in 62 starts. A first-round pick selected ninth by Arizona in 2007, Parker was obtained from the Diamondbacks in a December 2011 trade that sent All-Star Trevor Cahill and reliever Craig Breslow to Arizona.

Earlier in the week, the Miami Marlins beat pitcher Mat Latos, and infielder Danny Valencia defeated Toronto.

Twenty-one more players remained scheduled for hearings through Feb. 20.

There were just three decisions last year and none in 2013, down from seven in 2012. There could be the most hearings this year since teams won eight of 14 in 2001.

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