MLBlogger Alyson Footer tweets that the Astros have agreed on a one-year deal with outfielder Hunter Pence to avoid a salary arbitration hearing. Pence was a "Super two" player and was eligible after his second full year of service time, as he ranked in the top sixth by service time of all in players with at least two but less than three years in the major leagues.
After making $439,000 in his final year before arbitration eligibility, Pence will receive $3.5 million for the 2010 season, a figure just under eight times what he earned last year (a 697 percent raise). He had been seeking $4.1 million, compared to the Astros' counter offer of $3.1 million. Pence's contract falls $100,000 shy of the the mid point between the sides, $3.2 million.
The 26 year old right fielder had another solid season for the Astros. He belted 25 home runs while improving his discipline at the plate with career best walk and strikeout rates. His slash line .282/.346/.472 was third best on the team.
Pence's signing reduces the number of players whose cases are pending to 32. The Phillies have two cases pending with arbitration eligible players. They'll have until hearings begin in February to sign both Wandy Rodriguez and Tim Byrdak. 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.
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