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  Fri, January 18, 2013


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MLB notes: Big names avoid arbitration
By QMI Agency


San Francisco Giants' Hunter Pence celebrates as he comes into score against the Detroit Tigers during the second inning of Game 4 of the MLB World Series baseball championship in Detroit, Michigan, October 28, 2012. (REUTERS/Mark Blinch)

San Francisco Giants outfielder Hunter Pence agreed to a one-year, $13.8 million Friday to avoid going to salary arbitration.

Teammate Buster Posey did the same, inking a one-year, $8 million deal with the World Series champs.

Friday was the deadline for exchanging arbitration figures in the majors, so teams who failed to meet their players’ salary expectations will expect to enter hearings from Feb. 4 to Feb. 20.

A panel of arbitrators will either side with the teams’ offering, or rule in favour of a player’s expected salary.

SORIANO NAMED NATIONALS' CLOSER

Washington Nationals general manager Mike Rizzo said Rafael Soriano will be his closer in 2013.

The Nationals recently signed the 33-year-old Soriano to a two-year, $28 million free agent deal. And he won't be cooling off in the clubhouse in the ninth inning this season.

“Suffice it to say, Raffy is here to pitch the ninth inning,” Rizzo told the Washington Post.

Last season’s closer, Tyler Clippard, who had 32 saves, will return as the role of setup man, along with former closer Drew Storen, who had 43 saves two years ago.

LOWRIE GETS TOP DOLLAR WITH ASTROS

Houston avoided salary arbitration with their starting shortstop, Jed Lowrie, by inking him to a $2.4 million deal Friday.

Lowrie batted .244 with 16 home runs in 97 games in 2012 and is heading into his second full season with the Astros. He was acquired in December, 2011 from the Boston Red Sox along with pitcher Kyle Weiland for reliever Mark Melancon.

BRIEFLY: Baltimore Orioles catcher Matt Wieters, who admitted to the Baltimore Sun earlier in January he’d like to sign a long-term deal, avoided arbitration with a one-year, $5.5 million deal. The two-time Gold Glove winner batted .255 with 45 home runs in 2012 … The Boston Red Sox avoided arbitration with two of their key components in a rebuilding year: closer Joel Hanrahan, acquired from Pittsburgh in December, and centre-fielder Jacoby Ellsbury. Hanrahan agreed to a one-year, $7.04 million deal, while Ellsbury signed a $9 million contract for 2013.






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