Soriano argues for record $12 million in arbitration

Updated: February 9, 2006, 8:03 PM ET
Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Win or lose, Alfonso Soriano is headed to a record salary in arbitration.

Alfonso Soriano

Soriano and the Washington Nationals had their hearing Thursday before an arbitration panel, with the All-Star second baseman asking for a raise from $7.5 million to $12 million. Washington offered $10 million to Soriano, acquired in December from the Texas Rangers.

Richard Bloch, Elizabeth Neumeier and Elliott Shriftman heard the case and were expected to issue their decision Friday or Saturday.

Until now, the highest amount awarded to a player in arbitration was the $8.2 million Andruw Jones earned in 2001 when he beat the Atlanta Braves, who offered $6.4 million.

Soriano spent the last two seasons with Texas and hit .268 last year with 36 homers, 104 RBIs and 30 stolen bases.

Washington acquired him for outfielders Brad Wilkerson and Terrmel Sledge, and minor league pitcher Armando Galarraga. The Nationals want to shift Soriano from second base to the outfield, a move he is reluctant to make.

Soriano is eligible for free agency after this season.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press