Rays win arbitration hearing with Upton

Rays win arbitration hearing with Upton

ST. PETERSBURG -- An arbitration panel has sided with the Rays in their hearing with B.J. Upton, which means Tampa Bay's center fielder will make $3 million in 2010 rather than the $3.3 million he sought.

Upton, who made $435,000 in 2009, hit .241 with 11 home runs, 55 RBIs and 42 stolen bases after coming back from left shoulder surgery following the 2008 season. Among the highlights Upton put together in 2009 were a steal of home and becoming the first Rays player to hit for the cycle, which made him the first Major Leaguer since Houston's Jeff Bagwell to hit for the cycle and steal home in the same season.

The Rays were represented at the hearing by John Higgins, the team's general counsel/senior vice president, and the Poskauer Rose law firm. Upton was represented by his agent, Larry Reynolds.

"Today officially marks the end of the arbitration process for us this year," said Andrew Friedman, the Rays executive vice president of baseball operations. "We had a lot of eligible players and we're happy to have it behind us and be able to focus solely on getting ready for the season."

Tampa Bay remains unbeaten in five salary arbitration cases, and under the current Rays regime, the team is unbeaten in four cases, with two of those going against former catcher Josh Paul and the other going against Dioner Navarro.

Bill Chastain is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.