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Zambrano, Mauer, Cabrera give teams salary requests

NEW YORK -- Chicago Cubs pitcher Carlos Zambrano asked for a raise to $15.5 million while batting champions Joe Mauer and Freddy Sanchez also sought big hikes in salary arbitration Tuesday.

Carlos Zambrano Zambrano

AL MVP Justin Morneau and Florida star Miguel Cabrera looked to cash in, too, as 56 players exchanged figures with their teams.

Zambrano, who went 16-7 for the Cubs last year and made $6.65 million, was offered $11,025,000 by Chicago. Both his request and the club's offer were the highest numbers traded this year.

Cubs teammate Mark Prior, who made $3.65 million during an injury-riddled season in which he went 1-6 with a 7.21 ERA in nine starts, is asking for $3,875,000. The Cubs offered the right-hander $3.4 million.

Cabrera, eligible for arbitration for the first time, asked for a raise from $472,000 to $7.4 million and was offered $6.7 million by the Marlins. The three-time All-Star hit .339 with 26 homers and 114 RBIs last year, his third straight season with more than 110 RBIs.

Joe Mauer Mauer

Mauer, who hit .347 to become the first catcher to win the AL batting title, requested a raise from $400,000 to $4.5 million, and the Minnesota Twins offered $3.3 million.

Morneau, who batted .321 with 34 homers and 130 RBIs, asked the Twins for a raise from $385,000 to $5 million. He was offered $4 million.

Sanchez hit .344 for Pittsburgh to win his first batting crown and asked the Pirates to increase his salary from $342,000 to $3.1 million. Pittsburgh offered him $2.15 million.

Freddy Sanchez Sanchez

If players and teams don't settle, three-person arbitration panels will select their salaries next month. Management won four of six cases that went to hearings last year and leads players 269-200 since arbitration began in 1974.

Overall, players in arbitration averaged a 109 percent increase last year.

Fifty players settled before the exchange, including 40 on Tuesday.

Among those reaching agreements were Los Angeles Angels closer Francisco Rodriguez ($7 million), Houston reliever Brad Lidge
($5.35 million), Detroit outfielder Craig Monroe ($4,775,000), Chicago White Sox third baseman Joe Crede ($4.94 million), Colorado outfielder Matt Holliday ($4.4 million), Philadelphia center fielder Aaron Rowand ($4.35 million), Texas outfielder Brad Wilkerson ($4.35 million) and Oakland outfielder Milton Bradley ($4 million).

Zambrano's $4,475,000 gap was the largest, followed by Arizona and left-hander Doug Davis at $2.25 million. The smallest difference was $90,000 between outfielder Alex Escobar ($590,000) and Washington ($50,000), a case that would likely cost more to take to a hearing than the difference between the sides.

Washington had a big difference with right-hander John Patterson, who was offered $850,000 and asked for more than twice at much at $1.85 million. Patterson was 1-2 with a 4.43 ERA in eight starts last year. He missed much of the season because of a strained right forearm.

The Boston Red Sox exchanged salary arbitration figures with outfielder Wily Mo Pena and recently acquired pitcher Brendan Donnelly.

Pena, who hit .301 with 11 home runs and 42 RBIs in his first season with Boston, made $1.25 million last year. He's asking for $2.2 million, and the Red Sox offered $1.7 million.

Acquired last March from Cincinnati for pitcher Bronson Arroyo, Pena played in 84 games with Boston. He had 276 at-bats with 90 strikeouts. Pena turns 25 this month.

Boston acquired the 35-year-old Donnelly last month from the Los Angeles Angels for left-hander Phil Seibel. Donnelly, a reliever, made $950,000 last season. He's asking for $1.65 million, and the Red Sox offered $1.15 million.

Donnelly was 6-0 with a 3.94 ERA in 62 games last season, going 5-0 with a 3.52 ERA in 29 games after the All-Star break and holding opponents scoreless in 19 of his last 21 appearances.

His best year was 2003, when he allowed only two earned runs in his first 50 innings and was the winning pitcher in the AL's 7-6 victory over the NL in the All-Star Game. He finished the season with a 1.58 ERA and a career-high three saves.

The Baltimore Orioles swapped salary arbitration figures with pitcher Erik Bedard, second baseman Brian Roberts and outfielder Corey Patterson.

Bedard asked for $4 million and the Orioles offered $2.7 million. The left-hander went 15-11 with a 3.76 ERA in 33 starts last season, when he earned $1,625,000.

Roberts batted .286 with 10 home runs, 55 RBIs and 36 stolen bases. He asked for $4.6 million and was offered $3.8 million after making $3.1 million last year.

Patterson hit .276 with 16 homers, 53 RBIs and 45 steals. He requested $4.6 million and the Orioles submitted $4 million after his salary was $2.8 million in 2006.