MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan posts on his blog that the Rangers locked up swingman Dustin Nippert with a one-year contract worth $650,000 avoiding arbitration in his first year of eligibility. Nippert was a super-2 player, and did not see the same massive increase in salary that third year eligible players like Miguel Montero and fellow Ranger Brandon McCarthy received. Nippert's 2010 salary represent only a 58% raise over his 2009 pay rate of $411,760.
Nippert split time between starting and relieving, posting a 3.88 ERA with good peripherals, especially his home run rate, which was less than one long ball per every nine innings of work. Nippert is expected to pitch out of Texas' bullpen, though he may compete for a starting spot in what looks like a wide-open rotation after Rich Harden and Scott Feldman
Nippert's signing was the final one announced prior to the filing deadline, leaving the total arbitration eligible players filing at 128. The Rangers remaining arbitration eligible players include Chris Ray, Scott Feldman, Frank Francisco, Josh Hamilton, and C.J. Wilson all filed for salary arbitration, though the Rangers are looking to avoid the process entirely by signing each to a new contract before hearings begin. Please visit the salary arbitration page for more information.
Joe Tetreault is a member 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.
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