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Rush of MLB Deals Being Brokered on Day Salary Figures Are Exchanged PDF Print E-mail
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Free Agency, Trades, and Signings
Written by Maury Brown   
Tuesday, 20 January 2009 15:10

MLBYesterday, 20 agreements were reached in principle or players were outright signed as the 111 players that filed for salary arbitration in MLB worked with their clubs on new contracts. Today sees much the same as clubs rush through the final day before salary figures are exchanged between player and club in the next phase of the process.

Here are the deals – all one-year contracts, as of 3pm ET – reached Tuesday:

  • At 3pm ET, the Red Sox have just announced that they have agreed to terms with rigthhanded pitcher Jonathan Papelbon and lefthanded pitcher Javier Lopez on one-year, non-guaranteed contracts through the 2009 season, thus avoiding salary arbitration with both players. Terms were not disclosed, although Jayson Stark of ESPN reports that Papelbon will receive $6.25 million, making it the largest contract in history for a closer who was eligible for arbitration for the first time. (look for details on Lopez if it becomes available)  Papelbon went 5-4 with a 2.34 ERA in 2008 and set career highs 67 appearances, 69.1 innings and 41 saves, the third-most in the American League. He also ranked among A.L. relief leaders in games finished (2nd, 62), fewest walks per 9.0 innings (2nd, 1.04), save percentage (4th, 89.1), opponents on-base percentage (5th, .245), and strikeouts (T6th, 77). In 2008, Lopez tossed a career-high 59.1 innings on his way to a 2-0 record and finished fourth in the A.L. among qualifying lefthanded relievers with a 2.43 ERA and tied for fourth with 70 appearances. The 31-year-old limited lefthanded hitters to a .182 batting average, fifth in the A.L. He recorded a 1.98 ERA in his last 58 outings beginning April 25 and closed out the year with a season-high 12.0 consecutive scoreless frames over his final 15 games.
  • The Brewers and relief pitcher Seth McClung reached a 1-year, $1,662,500 deal
  • In what is a major signing for the Pirates, they are on the cusp of announcing that first baseman Adam LaRoche has agreed to a 1-year, $7.5 million deal He can earn another $50,000 with 555  plate appearances and additional $50,000 if he reaches 590 PAs. LaRoche is eligible for free agency in 2010. LaRoche made $5 million last season, when he hit .270 with 25 homers, 85 RBIs, 32 doubles and 122 strikeouts.
  • The Houston Astros signed right-handed pitcher Brandon Backe to a one-year, $1.55-million contract, plus incentives. Backe, 30, went 9-14 with a 6.05 ERA (112ER/166.2IP) in a career-high 31 starts with the Astros in 2008. The right-hander is 29-27 with a 5.02 ERA (240ER/430.2IP) in 78 career starts with Houston from 2004-08.
  • The LA Angels agreed to terms with third baseman Robb Quinlan to a 1-year, $1.1 million deal.
  • The Giants reached agreement reliever Jack Traschner to a 1-year, $835,000 contract.
  • The Cardinals reached agreement with reliever Brad Thompson to a 1-year, $835,000 contract.
  • The Rays agreed to terms with shortstop Jason Barlett to a 1-year, $1,981,250 contract
  • The Rangers and relief pitcher C.J. Wilson agreed to a 1-year, $1.85 million deal.
  • The Royals agreed to 1-year terms with John Buck (salary not available at this time), and Joel Peralta. Peralta will make $640,000 in 2009.
  • The Orioles and outfielder Luke Scott agreed on a 1-year deal (salary not available at this time).

As of 3pm ET, 13 deals had been brokered on Tuesday. Since last Thursday, when 111 players filed for salary arbitration, 37 agreements or outright signings have taken place, with the majority of them (32) being one-year deals. Five contracts have been multi-year (Nick Markakis, 6-years – Kevin Youkilis, 4-years – Cole Hamels, Ryan Madson, 3 years – Greg Dobbs, 2 years).

See Salary Arbitration Tracker for updated details

MORE ON SALARY ARBITRATION


Maury BrownMaury Brown is the Founder and President of the Business of Sports Network, which includes The Biz of Baseball, The Biz of Football, The Biz of Basketball and The Biz of Hockey. He is contributor to Baseball Prospectus, and is available as a freelance writer. Brown's full bio is here. He looks forward to your comments via email and can be contacted through the Business of Sports Network.

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