Papelbon Gets $9.35M to Avoid Arbitration
ESPN Boston's Gordon Edes reports that the Red Sox and closer Jonathan Papelbon have come to terms on a one-year deal worth $9.35 million, with incentives that could boost the deal to $9.5 million for 2010. The deal continues the club and Papelbon's year to year approach to arbitration. last year's one-year deal was worth $6.25 million.
Papelbon was named tot he All-Star game for the fourth consecutive season in 2009, locking down 38 games for Boston. The first appearance of chinks in Papelbon's game appeared as he posted his highest walk-rate in a full season. Papelbon's perfect postseason run ended as he coughed up a lead to the Angels in the final game of the Division Series. He remains a tremendously effective relief pitcher.
Rays Sign Garza, Howell
A pair of tweets from Mark Topkin of the St. Pete Times, the first revealing the new deal for Rays starter Matt Garza. Topkin's second tweet announced the deal for reliever J.P. Howell
Garza's 2009 was a continuation of his excellent 2008. His luck turned as he posted an 8-12 record to go with his 3.95 ERA and solid peripherals. He saw his hit and strikeout rates improve, offsetting slight increases in his walk and homerun rates. Garza will get $3.35 million for 2010. He earned $433,300 last year in his final year before being eligible for arbitration.
Howell's deal is less lucrative, with only $1.8 million guaranteed, with some incentives that might bump the total value. He worked out of the pen in 2009, saving 16 games and getting credited with a win in seven others. His ERA was below three (2.84) for the second consecutive season. Howell had made $433,700 in 2009.
Weaver Agrees to Terms with Angels
Back to Jon Heyman who tweets that the Angels and starter Jered Weaver agreed to a one-year $4.265 million contract for 2010. This was Weaver's first year of arbitration eligibility. He earned $465,000 last season.
Weaver is coming off his best year in the Angels rotation. His 16 wins were a career high and his 3.75 ERA the lowest since his rookie year. The Angels will be expecting Weaver to step up and assume the leadership role in the rotation with the departure of John Lackey.
Aardsma Signs with Mariners
MLB.com's Jim Street tweets that the Mariners came to terms with their closer David Aardsma on a one-year $2.75 million contract for 2010. This was Aardsma's first year of eligibility for salary arbitration.
His 38 saves and 2.52 ERA were career bests. Aardsma had been dealt to Seattle last January. The tremendous promise of his blazing fastball having gone unrealized in stops with the Giants, Cubs, White Sox and Red Sox. Aardsma was just wild enough to keep hitters from rapping out base hits, but not so wild to put them on via a free pass in 2010 and quickly assumed the closer's role for the Mariners. The dramatic decrease in his hit rate can be in part attributed to Seattle's much defense, which was among the best in the major's in 2009.
Jays Settle with Frasor, Tallet
The Official Blue Jays Twitter accountnotes a pair of signings. First, reliever Jason Frasor who signs for $2.65 million (US) for 2010. The second tweet gives the details of lefty swingman Brian Tallet's $2 million (US) contract for the rapidly approaching season.
Frasor, who was in his third and final year of arbitration eligibility, has been effective out of the pen for the Jays for the entirety of his career. His 2009 represented his best season in the majors, with a 7-3 record and a 2.50 ERA backed by the best rate stats he's chalked up.
Tallet made 25 starts for the beleaguered Blue Jay pitching staff, but was more effective pitching in relief, the role he is expected to return to in 2010. Tallet's 160.7 innings pitched were less than ten fewer than his combined innings total for 2006-2008.
Twins, Young Agree on Contract
The Star-Tribune's Joe Christensen tweets that the Twins have come to terms with outfielder Delmon Young on a one-year deal worth a guaranteed $2.6 million to avoid arbitration. He made $1.152 million in 2009.
Young had another middling campaign in 2009. His batting line of .284/.308/.425 was far too batting average dependent. The talent he displayed rising quickly through Tampa Bay's system has failed to materialize on the big league level.
John Danks Settles with ChiSox
ESPN Chicago's Bruce Levine reports on the five Cub signings we had earlier as well as the White Sox' contract agreement with starter John Danks on a one-year, $3.45 million deal for next season.
Danks followed up his breakout 2008 with another solid season in 2009. He won 13 games against 11 defeats with an ERA of 3.77. Danks, who turns 25 in April, earned just $520,000 in 2009.
Diamondbacks Work Out Deal for Drew
Jon Heyman rounds out this update with a tweet on Stephen Drew's new $3.4 million deal for 2010 with the Diamondbacks.
Drew's every other year pattern asserted itself in 2009 as the young shortstop dropped thirty points from his batting average and just over seventy off his slugging percentage from 2008. The Diamondbacks are counting on him returning to his 2008 form. He earned $1.5 million in 2009.
These signings reduce the number of players whose cases are pending to 66. MLB clubs exchanged figures with their remaining arbitration eligible players today. 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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