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Yolmer Sanchez wins in arbitration; players lead 6-3

PHOENIX — Infielder Yolmer Sanchez beat the Chicago White Sox in salary arbitration and will get a raise from $546,000 to $2.35 million rather than the team’s $2.1 million offer.

New York Mets pitcher Zack Wheeler and Chicago Cubs reliever Justin Grimm argued their cases Wednesday.

Players have a 6-3 advantage over teams this off-season and 12 remain scheduled for hearings through Feb. 16 in what could be the busiest year in arbitration since 1990.

Sanchez set career bests last year with a .267 average, 12 homers and 59 RBIs and .319 on-base percentage. He appeared in 78 games at second, 52 at third, four and shortstop and one in right field.

Arbitrators Robert Herzog, Sylvia Skratek and Walt De Treux made the decision, a day after hearing arguments.

Wheeler asked John Skonier, Andrew Strongin and Phillip LaPorte for a raise from $800,000 to $1.9 million, and the Mets argued he should be paid $1.5 million.

A 27-year-old right-hander, Wheeler had elbow ligament-replacement surgery on March 25, 2016, made one minor league appearance that August and returned to the Mets last spring. He went 3-7 with a 5.21 ERA in 17 starts.

Wheeler was sidelined by biceps tendinitis in June, went 0-2 in four starts when he returned while allowing 24 hits and 11 walks in 20 innings, then went on the DL for the rest of the season with what the team said was a stress reaction in his right arm.

A 29-year-old right-hander, Grimm asked Mark Burstein, Gary Kendellen and James Darby for an increase from $1,825,000 to $2,475,000. The Cubs said he should be paid $2.2 million.

Grimm was 1-2 with a 5.53 ERA in 50 relief appearances, striking out 59 and walking 27 in 55 1/3 innings.