The Los Angeles Angels and shortstop Maicer Izturi have agreed to a 1-year, $1.6 million deal, thus avoiding salary arbitration.
The Angels were offering $1.4 million in salary arbitration while Izturi was seeking $1.885 million. The $1.6 million that Izturi will make in 2009 is $42,500 below the mid-point of the two figures. Izturi will see a raise of 33 percent over his 2008 salary of $1.2 million.
Izturis, 28, spent his fourth season with the Angels in 2008 and batted .269 (78/290) with 14 doubles, two triples, three home runs and 37 RBIs in 79 games. He was the Angels' Opening Day shortstop but underwent season-ending surgery in mid-August after tearing the ulnar collateral ligament in his left thumb (he missed 61 games due to two DL stints in 2008; also suffered strained lower back in May).
Originally signed as a non-drafted free agent by the Cleveland Indians, April 1, 1998, Izturis was traded to the Montreal Expos (with OF Ryan Church) for LHP Scott Stewart, Jan. 5, 2004. He appeared in the Major Leagues with the Expos in 2004 before being traded (along with OF Juan Rivera) to the Angels in exchange for outfielder Jose Guillen, Nov. 10, 2004.
The signing of Izturi leaves RHP Ervin Santana as the final Angel left in salary arbitration. Salary arbitration eligible players Mike Napoli (1/$2M), Darren Oliver (1/$3.665M), and Robb Quinlan (1/$1.1M) all reached deals with the Angels before salary figures were exchanged. As a first time salary arbitration eligible player, Santana is seeking $4.325 million while the Angels are offering $3.6 million, or a difference of $725,000. Last season, Santana had a salary of $445,000.
Out of the 46 players that exchanged salary figures with their respective clubs in salary arbitration, to date, 10 have reached agreements at an average 2009 salary of $2,908,500. The average increase in salary from 2008 to 2009 for these players is 268 percent with Izturisā raise the lowest (the aforementioned 33 percent increase from last year), while rince Fielder sees the largest increase ($6.5 million, up from $670,00, or an increase of 870 percent).
FOR MORE SALARY ARBITRATION:
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Maury 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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