Perez wins arbitration with Mets, gets $4 million-plus raise

PORT ST. LUCIE, Fla. -- Pitcher Oliver Perez won his salary arbitration case against the New York Mets on Friday and will be paid $6.5 million this year rather than the team's offer of $4,725,000.

The left-hander went 15-10 with a 3.56 ERA last year, when he made $2,425,000. The decision was made by arbitrators Steven Wolf, Robert Bailey and Elizabeth Neumeier, who heard the case Thursday in St. Petersburg.

On Thursday, Philadelphia first baseman Ryan Howard became the first player to win in arbitration this year when he was awarded $10 million instead of the team's figure of $7 million.

Perez's win raised the Mets' payroll to $135.2 million for 24 signed players. For luxury tax purposes, which includes average annual values of contracts and about $10 million for benefits, the Mets' payroll is at approximately $146 million -- under the $155 million tax threshold.

Owners finished with a 6-2 advantage over players this year in cases that went to hearings. Los Angeles Angels reliever Francisco Rodriguez lost Friday and will make $10 million instead of his request for $12.5 million.