Friday, February 2, 2007
Blue Jays settle with Johnson, Rios, Downs
TORONTO -- The Toronto Blue Jays settled their three
remaining salary arbitration cases Friday, agreeing to one-year
contracts with left fielder Reed Johnson, right fielder Alex Rios
and pitcher Scott Downs.
Johnson gets $3,075,000, Rios $2,535,000 and Downs $1,025,000.
Toronto hasn't gone to a hearing since J.P. Ricciardi became
general manager in 2001.
"We're happy to have it behind us," Ricciardi said. "It's not
that we don't want to go, but if you can avoid it you avoid it."
Johnson, who hit .319 last year with 12 homers and 49 RBIs, can
make an additional $225,000 in performance bonuses: $37,500 each
for 575, 600, 615, 625, 635 and 645 plate appearances. After
earning $1,425,000 last year, he had asked for $3.6 million and had
been offered $2.5 million.
Rios was a first-time All-Star last year, hitting .302 with 17
homers and 82 RBIs. He missed more than 30 games because of a staph
infection in his leg.
A number of teams expressed interest in trading for Rios this
offseason after general manager J.P. Ricciardi sought to acquire a
starting pitcher after failing to sign Ted Lilly and Gil Meche.
Ricciardi ended up rounding out the rotation with free agent
starters Toma Ohka, John Thomson and Victor Zambrano.
Rios was eligible for arbitration for the first time after
making $354,000 last year. He had asked for $3.1 million and had
been offered $2 million.
Downs went 6-2 with a 4.09 ERA in 59 games last year, earning
$705,000. He had asked for $1.2 million and had been offered
In addition to his base salary, he could earn $25,000 in
performance bonuses: $10,000 for 70 games and $15,000 for 75 games.