Miami Marlins win arbitration case filed by Jacob Stallings; veteran catcher set to earn $2.45 million

MIAMI -- The Miami Marlins won out in the salary arbitration case with Jacob Stallings on Saturday, and the veteran catcher will earn $2.45 million this season rather than his $3.1 million request.

The decision gave teams a 9-3 advantage with just two cases remaining to be heard next week, involving New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge and Atlanta Braves left-hander Max Fried.

Richard McNeill, Gary Klendellen and Fredric Horowitz made the decision on Stallings, a day after hearing arguments.

Stallings, traded to Miami in December, hit .246 last year for the Pittsburgh Pirates with career bests of eight homers and 53 RBIs, earning $1.3 million. He entered Saturday with a .199 average, two homers and 21 RBIs.

Enthused about the offseason trade, Stallings was thrilled to join the Marlins, who were 28-34 before taking on the New York Mets on Saturday.

"I never thought that I would be [the centerpiece of a trade], even to this day," Stallings said after the deal. "I've said this before, but I heard Derek Jeter say it I think in his Hall of Fame speech. He said, 'When you're playing, you're really only concerned with keeping a job and getting a job.' And that's really been my focus.

"Just trying to keep a job, stay in the big leagues and reach my potential, and just try to get better and be as good as I can be. So that's really my focus and always has been throughout my journey."

No statistics or evidence from after March 1 are admissible other than contract and salary comparisons. The timing was set when Major League Baseball and the players' association agreed to the deal that ended the lockout.

Losing in earlier decisions were Atlanta outfielder Adam Duvall ($9,275,000), Braves third baseman Austin Riley ($3.95 million), injured Atlanta reliever Luke Jackson ($3.6 million), St. Louis outfielder Tyler O'Neill ($3.4 million), Kansas City infielder Nicky Lopez ($2.55 million), Miami right-hander Pablo Lopez ($2.45 million), Milwaukee right-hander Adrian Houser ($2,425,000) and Cincinnati pitcher Lucas Sims ($1.2 million).

Winning were Atlanta shortstop Dansby Swanson ($10 million), Seattle second baseman/outfielder Adam Frazier ($8 million) and Kansas City outfielder Andrew Benintendi ($8.5 million).

Arbitration hearings usually are held during the first three weeks of February but were delayed by the lockout.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.