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Friday, January 30, 2004
Salary more than six times last year's

Associated Press

PHILADELPHIA -- Vicente Padilla agreed Friday to a $2.6 million, one-year contract with the Philadelphia Phillies, more than six times his $425,000 salary last season.

 Vicente Padilla

The 26-year-old right-hander was 14-12 with a 3.62 ERA last season in 32 starts. His 133 strikeouts and 208 2/3 innings were career highs.

"He was one of our most consistent pitchers last year and was an All-Star in 2002," Philadelphia assistant general manager Ruben Amaro Jr. said "We feel he will continue to progress as one of the best young pitchers in the National League."

Padilla had asked for $2.95 million in arbitration and had been offered $2.35 million. A hearing had been scheduled for mid-February.

Pitcher Kevin Millwood and second baseman Placido Polanco remain in arbitration.

Padilla came to the Phillies in the deal that sent Curt Schilling to Arizona in 2000. Since becoming a starter in 2002, Padilla is 28-23 with a 3.45 ERA.