UPDATE: The New York Times is reporting that the Phillies backloaded Victorino's deal. He will be paid $5 million in 2010, $7.5 million in 2011 and $9.5 million in 2012. The first year lands $275,000 shy of the mid-point between the offered and asked figures exchanged and represents a 60% raise over his 2009 salary.
NBC Sports' Craig Calcaterra posted the scoop that the Phillies had agreed on a three-year contract with outfielder Shane Victorino for $22 million to avoid arbitration.
The Phillies have aggressively locked up their arbitration eligible players to long term deals, moving quickly to sign both Victorino and Joe Blanton less than a week after the club exchanged arbitration figures with their arbitration eligible players. Like Blanton, Victorino is locked in for the next three seasons at a very reasonable average annual salary. Details of the deal beyond the full guaranteed value have yet to be released.
Victorino was seeking $5.8 million for 2010 in his second year of arbitration eligibility. He made $3.125 million in 2009. The club's offer was $4.75 million, putting the mid-point between the two sides at $5.275 million. Victorino's average annual salary of $7,333,333 is more than $2 million over that midpoint. The deal buys Victorino's third year of arbitration eligibility as well as one year of free agency. Victorino will be a free agent following the 2012 season.
The Flyin' Hawaiian posted his best season in 2009, leading the NL in triples and posting a superb .292/.358/.445 line while winning his second consecutive gold glove. Despite just 10 homeruns, Victorino still slugged 62 extra base-hits. He also swiped 25 bases while getting caught just eight times, good for a 75.8% success rate.
Victorino's signing reduces the number of players whose cases are pending to 33. The Phillies have one case pending with an arbitration eligible player. They'll have until hearings begin in February to sign Carlos Ruiz. Please visit the salary arbitration figures 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.
Follow The Biz of Baseball on Twitter
Follow the Business of Sports Network on Facebook