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 ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -Jonny Gomes and the Tampa Bay Rays avoided arbitration, agreeing Thursday to a $1,275,000, one-year contract that more than triples his salary from last season.
Gomes rebounded from a slow start and a demotion to Triple-A Durham in 2007, batting .244 with 17 home runs and 49 RBIs. He had 16 homers and 44 RBIs while starting 81 of Tampa Bay's final 99 games. He was hitting .184 with one homer and five RBIs when he was sent to the minors on May 28.
The 27-year-old outfielder and designated hitter, who earned $407,800 last season, is expected to share right field and DH duties with Cliff Floyd and Rocco Baldelli. Gomes' 58 homers the past three seasons are the most by any Tampa Bay player.
Gomes batted .313 against left-handed pitching last season. He can earn an additional $25,000 for 500 plate appearances this year.

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