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Wednesday, February 7, 2007
Pirates sign Castillo to 1-year contract

Associated Press

PITTSBURGH -- Second baseman Jose Castillo and the Pittsburgh Pirates avoided arbitration Wednesday, agreeing to a $1.9 million, one-year contract.

Castillo filed for $2.2 million and the Pirates offered $1.8 million. He can earn an additional $20,000 for 570 plate appearances and $30,000 for 590 plate appearances.

Castillo hit .253 with 14 homers and 65 RBIs last season, when he slumped badly over the second half of the season. He was hitting .283 on July 5, but went 8-for-73 (.110) with two RBIs and two extra-base hits after Sept. 1.

Partly because of Castillo's slump, manager Jim Tracy will give Jose Bautista a chance to compete with Castillo for a starting infielder's job during spring training.

The Pirates have no more arbitration-eligible players. Only two Pirates players have had arbitration hearings in the last 14 years, third baseman Jeff King in 1993 and shortstop Jack Wilson in 2004.