Arbitration panel rules in Bucs' favor over Walker

Hometown second baseman to receive $8 million for 2015 season

Arbitration panel rules in Bucs' favor over Walker

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Pirates got the decision in their first of three arbitration hearings this month when the three-member panel that heard the case on Friday ruled Saturday in the club's favor over second baseman Neil Walker.

Walker's 2015 salary thus is set at $8 million, compared to the $9 million request he had submitted.

The Pittsburgh Kid was coming off arguably his finest season, and he earned $5.75 million in 2014 when he batted .271 with 76 RBIs in 137 games while setting a club record for second basemen with 23 home runs. Only a few days ago, he was named the National League's top second baseman by MLB Network in its ongoing Right Now! series on the Majors' best players at their position; Walker ranked fourth overall on that list.

This marked the third time Walker was eligible for arbitration, and the first time his case went into a hearing. As a Super Two player, he has one instance of arbitration remaining.

The Bucs have two more cases on the arbitration docket. Pedro Alvarez has submitted a request for $5.75 million, with the team countering at $5.25 million. Right-hander Vance Worley has asked for $2.45 million and was offered $2 million.

Tom Singer is a reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog Change for a Nickel. Follow him on Twitter @Tom_Singer. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.