Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Roundup: Players avoid arbitration
ESPN.com news services
The Minnesota Twins have agreed to contracts with all eight of their players in arbitration, including pitcher Carl Pavano, shortstop J.J. Hardy and outfielder Delmon Young.
The only one of the eight to get a multiyear deal Tuesday was infielder Brendan Harris. He gets a two-year contract worth $3.2 million, including $1.45 million this season.
Right-handed relievers Jesse Crain ($2 million), Matt Guerrier ($3.15 million) and Pat Neshek ($625,000) and left-hander Francisco Liriano ($1.6 million) also get one-year contracts.
Pavano was a free agent who accepted the team's arbitration offer last month. The right-hander gets $7 million.
Young will earn $2.6 million, with $50,000 available in performance bonuses.
Hardy will make $5.1 million.
People familiar with the negotiations tell The Associated Press that the Colorado Rockies have reached preliminary agreements on multiyear contracts with relievers Huston Street and Rafael Betancourt.
Street will get $22.5 million over three years and Betancourt $7.55 million over two seasons, the people said, speaking separately. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreements are not yet final.
Foxsports.com first reported the deal with Street.
Colorado also agreed to a $3.25 million, two-year deal with outfielder Ryan Spilborghs and a $1.9 million, one-year contract with pitcher Jason Hammel.
Outfielder Josh Willingham agreed to a $4.6 million contract for 2010 with the Washington Nationals, who also avoided arbitration with three other players.
Catchers Jesus Flores and Wil Nieves and right-hander Jason Bergmann agreed to one-year deals with Washington on Tuesday, the day players and teams submitted figures for arbitration.
Flores and Bergmann got salaries of $750,000 for next season, while Nieves agreed to a $700,000 deal. Their 2009 salaries ranged from $415,500 to $445,000 in 2009.
Flores, expected to split time at catcher with free-agent signee Ivan Rodriguez, can earn bonuses of $10,000 for 70 games played, $15,000 for 80, and $25,000 for 90. Flores hit .301 in only 93 at-bats in 2009, when he missed time after being hit by a foul ball, then needed shoulder surgery.
Willingham hit .260 with 24 homers and 61 RBIs in 427 at-bats last season, his first after being traded to Washington by the Florida Marlins. He earned $2.95 million after agreeing to a contract right before an arbitration hearing.
Tuesday's deals leave the Nationals with two arbitration-eligible players: relievers Brian Bruney and Sean Burnett.
Bruney, acquired in an offseason trade with the New York Yankees, asked for $1.85 million in arbitration, while the Nationals offered $1.5 million. He made $1.25 million last season.
Burnett asked for a raise from $408,000 to $925,000. The Nationals offered $775,000.
The Tampa Bay Rays have agreed to one-year contracts with All-Star shortstop Jason Bartlett, right-hander Matt Garza and left-handed reliever J.P. Howell.
The team was unable to reach an agreement Tuesday with center fielder B.J. Upton, who is expected to go to an arbitration hearing in February even though the sides aren't far apart. The Rays have a policy of not negotiating once salary figures are exchanged.
Upton asked for $3.3 million, and the team offered $3 million.
Bartlett gets a $4 million deal. He earned $1.98 million last season while batting .320 with 14 homers, 66 RBIs and 30 steals.
Garza will make $3.35 million after earning $433,300 in 2009.
Pirates left-handed starter Zach Duke avoided a possible arbitration hearing by agreeing to a $4.3 million, one-year contract.
Tuesday was the deadline for teams and players to exchange salary arbitration figures.
The 26-year-old Duke gets a $1 million raise from last season, when he was 11-16 with a 4.06 ERA in 32 starts while allowing 231 hits in 213 innings. He also was chosen for the All-Star game.
Duke had been the Pirates' only remaining arbitration-eligible player.
The Pirates also claimed outfielder Brandon Jones off waivers from the Atlanta Braves and added him to their 40-man roster.
Rickie Weeks and Carlos Gomez have agreed to one-year contracts with the Milwaukee Brewers that avoided salary arbitration.
Weeks will make $2.75 million, up from $2.45 million last year. He hit .272 with nine homers and 24 RBIs in 37 games before tearing a tendon in his left wrist on May 17, an injury that required season-ending surgery.
Gomez agreed at $1.1 million, up from $437,500 last year, and can earn an additional $100,000 in performance bonuses. He is expected to be the starting center fielder after he was acquired from Minnesota during the offseason for popular shortstop J.J. Hardy.
Gomez hit .229 with three homers and 28 RBIs in 137 games. He was arbitration eligible for the first time.
Infielder Jorge Cantu and reliever Leo Nunez have agreed to one-year contracts with the Florida Marlins, avoiding arbitration.
Cantu, who made $3.5 million last year, agreed Tuesday for $6 million. Nunez, who made $412,500 in 2008, received a raise to $2 million.
Cantu hit .289 with 16 home runs and 100 RBIs last year while dividing his time between first and third base.
Nunez had 26 saves in 33 chances for Florida in 2009, his first year as a closer. He went 4-6 with a 4.06 ERA in 68 2-3 innings, and his seven blown saves tied for second-highest in the National League.
The Cleveland Indians kept their arbitration streak intact by coming to terms with reliever Rafael Perez on a $795,000 deal.
The club was scheduled to exchange salary figures Tuesday with Perez, the only player on Cleveland's roster eligible for arbitration. The Indians have not gone to arbitration since 1991.
Perez, who can earn another $25,000 with an All-Star appearance, was a major disappointment last season. The left-hander went 4-3 with a 7.31 ERA in 48 innings with Cleveland and was twice sent down to the minor leagues.
The Indians are counting on him to regain the form that made him one of the AL's premier setup men. In 2008, he was Cleveland's most reliable reliever and in 2007 he had a 1.78 ERA in 44 appearances.
Relief pitcher Peter Moylan has agreed to a $1.15 million, one-year contract with the Atlanta Braves, the last of their arbitration-eligible players.
Moylan made $410,000 last season while setting a franchise record with 87 appearances and a major league mark for most games without allowing a home run. The side-arming right-hander, a native of Australia, went 6-2 with a 2.84 ERA as the main setup reliever after missing most of the previous season recovering from elbow surgery.
Moylan is expected to fill much the same role in a bullpen that now features Billy Wagner and Takashi Saito.
The Astros have avoided arbitration by agreeing to one-year contracts with center fielder Michael Bourn, right-hander Matt Lindstrom and catcher Humberto Quintero.
Bourn gets $2.4 million, Lindstrom $1,625,000 and Quintero $750,000 under Tuesday's deals. All three can earn additional bonuses.
The 27-year-old Bourn led the NL with 61 stolen bases last year. Bourn was Houston's leadoff man for most of the season and set career highs in runs (97), hits (173), doubles (27), triples (12) and walks (63). He also became the first Astros outfielder to win a Gold Glove since Cesar Cedeno won five straight between 1972-76.
Reliever Chad Durbin has agreed to a one-year contract with the Philadelphia Phillies worth $2,125,000, a deal that avoided salary arbitration.
The 32-year-old right-hander appeared in 59 games last season for the NL champions, going 2-2 with two saves and a 4.39 ERA. He made $1,635,000.
Three Phillies remain in arbitration: center fielder Shane Victorino, catcher Carlos Ruiz and right-hander Joe Blanton.
Outfielder Jeff Francoeur and the New York Mets have agreed to a $5 million, one-year contract.
The deal announced Tuesday gives Francoeur a raise of more than $1.6 million.
Francoeur hit .311 with 20 doubles, 10 homers and 41 RBIs in 75 games with the Mets. He was acquired from Atlanta on July 10 for outfielder Ryan Church. Francoeur batted .280 overall with 15 homers and 76 RBIs last year, when he made $3,375,000.
He is eligible for free agency after the 2011 season.
Three Mets remain in arbitration: left-hander Pedro Feliciano, right-hander Sean Green and outfielder Angel Pagan.
Third baseman Alex Gordon and right-hander Robinson Tejeda have bypassed arbitration, agreeing to one-year contracts with the Kansas City Royals.
Gordon gets $1.15 million after making $457,000 last season.
Gordon was the second pick in the 2005 amateur draft and was once thought of as the cornerstone of the team's future. But his career has been slow to develop and he missed 79 games last year after undergoing hip surgery. He wound up batting .232 with six home runs and 22 RBIs in 49 games.
Tejeda got a raise from $437,000 to $950,000. He can earn another $50,000 in performance bonuses: $25,000 each for reaching 23 and starts.
Pitching out of the bullpen most of the year, Tejeda was 4-2 with a 3.54 ERA in 35 games last season.
Third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff and outfielder Rajai Davis have agreed to one-year deals with the Oakland Athletics and avoided salary arbitration.
Kouzmanoff will make $3.1 million this season and Davis will get a $1.35 million contract plus incentives. The deals were reached before Tuesday's deadline to exchange contract figures.
Right-hander Michael Wuertz is the only A's player remaining eligible for arbitration.
Kouzmanoff was acquired in a trade over the weekend from San Diego. He hit .255 with 18 homers and a career-high 88 RBIs last season with the Padres.
Davis became the starting center fielder in Oakland last season, hitting .305 and stealing 41 bases. He is expected to play left field this season following the signing of Coco Crisp.
The Blue Jays have avoided salary arbitration with a pair of right-handed relievers, agreeing to a $1.15 million one-year contract with Shawn Camp and a $700,000, one-year deal with Casey Janssen.
The 34-year-old Camp was 2-6 with a 3.50 ERA last year, when he made $752,500.
Janssen, 28, was 2-4 with a 5.85 ERA and one save in five starts and 16 relief appearances following his return in May from surgery to repair a torn labrum in his pitching shoulder, an injury that caused him to miss the 2008 season. Janssen, who earned $413,900 last year, is expected to pitch out of the bullpen this season.
Toronto has three players remaining in arbitration: pitchers Jason Frasor, Jeremy Accardo and Brian Tallet.
Mike Adams and the San Diego Padres have agreed to a $1 million, one-year contract that avoids salary arbitration.
The deal was completed shortly after Tuesday's exchange of figures. The reliever had asked for $1.2 million, and the Padres countered at $875,000.
The 31-year-old Adams had no record and a 0.73 ERA in 37 appearances for San Diego last year, when he made $414,800. He missed much of the season while recovering from right shoulder surgery, but allowed only three earned runs in 37 innings -- including just one earned run in his last 34 games.
The only Padres player still in arbitration is outfielder Scott Hairston, reacquired Saturday from Oakland in a trade. He requested $2.9 million and the team offered $2.1 million.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.