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Monday, December 4, 2006
Updated: December 6, 12:15 AM ET
Padilla, Rangers reach agreement on $34M contract

By Jerry Crasnick

LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Free agent right-hander Vicente Padilla has reached a preliminary agreement on a $34 million, three-year contract with the Texas Rangers, a baseball source said Monday night.

Keith Law's take
Keith Law
The Rangers took a big leap of faith that Vicente Padilla's 2006 season represents a new level of ability for him, rather than a peak of performance, health, and good behavior.

• For more of Keith Law's analysis, click here. Insider

Padilla's contract contains a $12 million club option for 2010, The Associated Press reported.

The deal, made on day one of baseball's winter meetings, is contingent upon Padilla passing a physical exam, which is expected to be administered in the coming days.

Padilla, who won a career-high 15 games for the Rangers last season, will fill the No. 2 spot in the rotation behind fellow right-hander Kevin Millwood. Padilla attracted interest from several National League clubs, but Texas moved quickly after losing free agent Adam Eaton, who signed with the Philadelphia Phillies last week for three years and $24 million.

The 29-year-old Padilla was 15-10 with a 4.50 ERA and 156 strikeouts in 200 innings in 2006. He had spent the previous five seasons in Philadelphia. He began his career in Arizona and is 66-61 in eight major league seasons.

The Rangers were 80-82 last season and finished third in the AL West. They haven't made the playoffs since 1999.

Jerry Crasnick covers Major League Baseball for ESPN Insider.