|Matt Holliday, Miguel Cabrera among 15 more players who avoid arbitration by reaching deals|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 18 January 2008 10:22|
On a busy day in baseball, Justin Morneau, Carlos Pena and Scott Kazmir were other big names who bypassed arbitration by reaching deals Friday.
In all, 42 of the 110 players who filed for arbitration Tuesday had reached agreements - after 15 settled on terms early Friday. Ryan Howard, Francisco Rodriguez and Kevin Youkilis were among the stars still in arbitration. More than a dozen more players were expected to reach deals before the exchange of figures.
delphia's Jimmy Rollins in MVP balloting.
After making $4.4 million last season, Holliday gets $9.5 million this year and $13.5 million in 2009.
Cabrera and the Tigers agreed on a one-year contract worth $11.3 million. The All-Star third baseman joined Detroit along with pitcher Dontrelle Willis as part of a blockbuster trade with Florida last month.
The 24-year-old Cabrera can become a free agent after the 2009 season, but the Tigers hope to keep him long term.
Morneau, the 2006 AL MVP, agreed to a $7.4 million, one-year contract with Minnesota. The first baseman batted .271 with 31 home runs and 111 RBIs last year. He is not eligible for free agency until after the 2010 season.
Pena reached both a $6 million, one-year deal with Tampa Bay and a preliminary agreement on a $24,125,000, three-year contract that is pending a physical.
``I love Tampa Bay and I feel very comfortable playing with the Rays. I'm very happy to be able to be with the team for the next three seasons,'' Pena said in a telephone interview in the Dominican Republic.
``The team certainly is trying to become a contender. But we don't want just to contend, we want to win and we're getting closer. Things in Tampa Bay look bright.''
One reason is Kazmir, the 23-year-old left-hander who led the AL with 239 strikeouts last season. He and the Rays agreed to a $3,785,000, one-year contract.
Other players agreeing to one-year deals Friday were Seattle pitcher Horacio Ramirez ($2.75 million), Colorado outfielder Willy Taveras ($1,975,000), Texas catcher Gerald Laird ($1.6 million), Florida pitcher Sergio Mitre ($1.2 million), Yankees infielder Wilson Betemit ($1,165,000), St. Louis outfielder Rick Ankiel ($900,000), Boston reliever Javier Lopez ($840,000), Detroit reliever Bobby Seay ($780,000), San Diego pitcher Wilfredo Ledezma ($620,000) and Dodgers outfielder Jason Repko ($487,500).
Arbitration hearings are scheduled for the first three weeks of February in St. Petersburg, Fla.
Mark Teixeira, Huston Street and Brad Lidge were among the 22 players who avoided arbitration by agreeing to contracts Thursday.
Toronto reliever Scott Downs cashed in on a breakout season, getting a $10 million, three-year deal. The only other player to get a multiyear contract was Blue Jays infielder Marco Scutaro ($2.65 million for two years).
Thursday's biggest deal went to Teixeira, Atlanta's slugging first baseman who is eligible for free agency after this season. He agreed to a $12.5 million contract, one of four Braves players who bypassed arbitration. The others were reliever Mike Gonzalez ($2,362,500), infielder Omar Infante ($1.4 million) and right-hander Tyler Yates ($800,000).
Street and the Oakland Athletics agreed at $3.3 million, a big raise from the $380,000 he made last year. The 2005 AL Rookie of the Year was limited to 48 outings in 2007 because of an irritated nerve in his right elbow that landed the closer on the disabled list for two months.
There was one free-agent deal Thursday: starting pitcher Jason Jennings and the Texas Rangers agreed to a one-year contract worth $4 million.
Lidge ($6.35 million) and fellow Philadelphia reliever Ryan Madson ($1.4 million) settled Thursday. Acquired from Houston in November to assume the closer's role, Lidge went 5-3 with 19 saves and a 3.36 ERA in 66 games with the Astros last season.
In addition to Downs and Scutaro, the Blue Jays inked right-hander Jason Frasor ($1,125,000) and left-handers Gustavo Chacin ($725,000) and Brian Tallet ($640,000). All-Star outfielder Alex Rios is their last remaining player in arbitration.
Downs went 4-2 with a 2.17 ERA in 81 relief appearances last season, tied for the AL lead. He struck out 57 in 58 innings and walked just 24. The left-hander gets $2.25 million this year, $3.75 million next year and $4 million in 2010. He made $1.05 million last season.
Joe Crede and the Chicago White Sox agreed at $5.1 million. The third baseman played only 47 games last season before back surgery, batting .216 with four homers and 22 RBIs. He was a standout defensively and provided clutch hitting for the White Sox in 2005, when they won the World Series.
As of now, Chicago has two third basemen. Josh Fields was called up last season and batted .244 with 23 homers and 67 RBIs in 100 games.
Other players agreeing to terms Thursday were Milwaukee lefty Chris Capuano ($3.75 million), Los Angeles Angels outfielder Juan Rivera ($2,025,000), Pittsburgh third baseman Jose Bautista ($1.8 million), Kansas City pitcher Jimmy Gobble ($1,312,500), Minnesota outfielder Jason Kubel ($1.3 million), Tampa Bay outfielder Jonny Gomes ($1,275,000), Detroit outfielder Marcus Thames ($1,275,000), Washington pitcher Tim Redding ($1 million) and Florida catcher Matt Treanor ($705,000).
The 29-year-old Jennings, a Dallas native, can earn an additional $4 million in performance bonuses based on innings.
The 2002 NL Rookie of the Year with Colorado, Jennings is coming off an injury-plagued season in Houston. He was 2-9 with a career-worst 6.45 ERA in 19 games and missed three months because of elbow problems.
``I'm not the pitcher that everybody saw last year because that was not me,'' Jennings said. ``Last year was so frustrating.''
After two months on the disabled list early in the season with right elbow tendinitis, Jennings didn't pitch after Aug. 20 and had surgery to repair a torn flexor tendon.
``It's almost kind of a new life for me,'' he said. ``Getting to play at home, a new team, an exciting team, an exciting environment and me feeling healthy. All things are good right now.''
Associated Press Writer Dionisio Soldevila in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, contributed to this report.