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Cone, Sierra ask top dollar

New York Mets pitcher David Cone made his attempt for a record $4.25-million in arbitration Monday as Texas outfielder Ruben Sierra prepared to make his $5-million try today.

Meanwhile, six players settled on one-year deals, leaving 12 in arbitration with four days remaining in the process.

Reliever Duane Ward and Toronto settled at $2,425,000, triple his 1991 salary of $800,000, and Ellis Burks and Boston agreed to $2.3-million, a raise of $475,000. Burks can earn $170,000 in bonuses if he plays 145 games.

Right-hander Tim Belcher and Cincinnati agreed at $2.1-million. He earned $900,000 last year with the Los Angeles Dodgers.

Two Seattle pitchers agreed to contracts that tripled their salaries. Left-hander Randy Johnson settled at $1,392,500, a raise of $1,012,500, and right-hander Erik Hanson agreed to $1,345,000, a raise of $945,000.

Reliever Jeff Montgomery and Kansas City agreed to $2.41-million. He earned $1,085,000 in '91.

Meanwhile, third baseman Craig Worthington and minor-league pitcher Tom Martin were traded from Baltimore to San Diego for pitcher Jim Lewis and outfielder Steve Martin.

Owners had a 10-5 lead in cases decided by hearings before Cone's appearance before an arbitrator. The sides argued for approximately 5{ hours.

Cone made $2.35-million in 1991, when he went 14-14 with a 3.29 ERA. The Mets are offering $3-million.

Sierra, who hit .307 last season with 25 homers and 116 RBI, is asking for exactly $5-million and the Rangers are offering $3.8-million. He made $2.65-million in 1991.