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Friday, February 15, 2008
Updated: February 16, 11:04 AM ET
Bedard, Mariners avoid arbitration, agree to one-year deal

Associated Press

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Erik Bedard has agreed to a $7 million, one-year contract with the Seattle Mariners, avoiding arbitration with the team that acquired him last week.

The two sides are believed to have already started negotiations on a long-term deal. General manager Bill Bavasi, who still has not had a contract go to arbitration since he joined the Mariners in 2004, indicated last week that the team was exploring a multiyear extension for the left-handed ace.

"We are pleased to have Eric signed for 2008 and to avoid the arbitration process," Bavasi said. "It was important to the club to get this done quickly and fairly to avoid any distraction as we prepare for the season."

Mariners manager John McLaren already has picked Bedard to start on Opening Day. Bedard was 13-5 with a 3.16 ERA last year for Baltimore.

The 28-year-old was asking for $8 million in arbitration. Seattle's offer was $6 million.

Bedard made $3,425,000 last year.