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Arbitration deals: Upton $7M, Price $4.35M



UPDATE, 10:13: Niemann declined comment, saying he would wait until the matter was resolved.

UPDATE, 5:23: Friedman said they were pleased to settle five of their six potential arbitration cases (including Joel Peralta and J.P. Howell), but the Niemann situation is "something that unfortunately happens sometimes in this process, and it's definitely a sub-opitmal outcome."

Friedman declined to go into the specifics of the Niemann situation, but said of their overall negotiations: "Plus or minus a relatively small amount, we had a very good feel for what the fair outcome would be with each one of these.''

Niemann filed for $3.2-million while the Rays filed for $2.75-million, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.

UPDATE, 4:01: Price said was very pleased with the deal. "I was pretty confident,'' he said. "I really didn't know anything that was going on. I just kind of stayed out of it. I have the all the faith in the world in my agent, Bo McKinnis. He took care of me and got me what I felt like I deserve.''

Price also cracked a joke about one of Tampa's even-more successful ballplayers when asked what, if anything, he might spend his new riches on: "I might ask Jeter if I can buy a wing in his house for a little while."

UPDATE, 1:23: The Rays have announced the deals, and also that they signed RHP Burke Badenhop to a one-year deal for $1.075-million, but apparently are headed to arbitration with RHP Jeff Niemann.

The request figures from Niemann and the Rays should be available later this afternoon. Is worth noting that the Rays are 4-0 in arbitration cases under exec VP Andrew Friedman's six years, which indicates they picks their spots when they go a hearing and they have been right about it.

BREAKING: The Rays have reached one-year deals to avoid arbitration with LHP David Price and CF B.J. Upton.

Price got $4.35-million. Upton's figure not yet available.

The Rays have not released anything yet, so don't know if other two cases were resolved, with RHPs Jeff Niemann and Burke Badenhop.

Price's deal marks the largest one-year contract for a starting pitcher in his first year of salary arbitration.  Dontrelle Willis also got $4.35-million following his 2005 season, though $1.5-million was deferred.  Next highest is Jered Weaver, who got $4.265-million from the Angels following the 2009 season.
Price was 12-13 with a 3.49 ERA in a somewhat disappointing 2011 season (certainly compared to his 19-6, 2.72 performance the year before). He didn't win in his last six starts (going 0-2, 4.01), nor in his Game 2 playoff outing at Texas. This is the first of Price's four seasons of arbitration eligibility, and there likely will be at least discussions in the future about a multiyear deal. Price made $1.25-million last season, and exercised his right to void a $1.5-million salary for this season since he was eligble for arbitration as a "Super 2."

Upton is heading into his final season before free agency and coming off a solid season in which he hit .243 with 23 homers (one shy of his career high), 81 RBIs and 36 steals, though struck out 161 times. Upton made $4.825-million last season in a deal that avoided arbitration, and $3-million in 2010 when he went to a hearing (seeking $3.3-million) and lost.

Badenhop, acquired in a December trade from the Marlins, made $750,000 last season in a deal that avoided arbitration. He was 2-3, 4.10 while appearing in 50 games

Niemann was arbitration eligible for the first time, coming off a season when he was 11-7 with a 4.06 ERA while spending six weeks on the DL with a back strain. He went 7-0, 2.15 in his first 10 starts after coming off the DL, then struggled at the end. He made $903,000 last season.



[Last modified: Thursday, February 16, 2012 12:41am]


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