Harper, Michaels reach deals

TAMPA, Fla. -- Pitcher Kyle Lohse defeated the Minnesota Twins on Friday in the first salary arbitration case of the year.

Eligible for arbitration for the first time, Lohse will get a raise from $395,000 to $2.4 million, arbitrators Robert Bailey,
Christine Knowlton and Elliott Shriftman decided, one day after
hearing the case.

"I feel good that we won the case," Lohse said Friday. "It's too bad it had to go to that. It's something we had to do. Now,
it's time to move forward and concentrate on playing some

Minnesota had offered $2.15 million to the 26-year-old right-hander, who went 9-13 with a 5.34 ERA in 34 starts last season.

Lohse held no ill feelings from the process and was just glad
that it had ended.

"It wasn't a big thing weighing on my mind, but it's good that the contract is taken care of," Lohse said. "It's just part of
the business. Sometimes you can't come to an agreement and need
somebody to step in. It's just fortunate that I was able to come in
and beat it."

Twins general manager Terry Ryan was out of the office on Friday and unavailable for comment.

Tampa Bay and right-hander Travis Harper settled their case Friday, agreeing to a $745,000, one-year contract, the midpoint
between his request for $840,000 and the team's offer of $650,000.
He also can earn $20,000 bonuses for 55 and 60 games pitched.

On Thursday, Houston pitcher Roy Oswalt agreed to a $16.9 million, two-year contract. Oswalt, who had a hearing date next week, had asked for a raise from $3,425,000 to $7.8 million and had been offered $6 million by the Astros. He went 20-10 with a 3.49 ERA last season.

Outfielder Jason Michaels and the Philadelphia Phillies, like Lohse scheduled for a hearing Thursday, instead agreed to an $825,000, one-year contract.

Michaels, 28, hit .274 with 10 homers and 40 RBI in 115 games with the Phillies last year while platooning in center field with Marlon Byrd. Michaels made $335,000 last year and was eligible for arbitration for the first time. He had asked for $925,000 in arbitration and had been offered $650,000.

Eight players remain scheduled for hearings, including Twins pitcher Johan Santana, the AL Cy Young Award winner, and Milwaukee pitcher Ben Sheets. Hearings are scheduled through Feb. 18. All arbitration hearings this year are in Tampa.