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Zaun headed to Brewers



C Gregg Zaun has agreed to a deal with the Brewers and won't be returning to the Rays.

Zaun is guaranteed $2.15-million in the deal, and the chance to play everyday - which at age 38 could be a challege.

Zaun will receive a $1.9-million salary (plus the chance to earn up to $600,000 more in incentives based on games started), and either a $250,000 buyout or a $2.25-million option for 2011. The Rays could have had him back for $2-million, but declined their option while continuing discussions.

Because they offered him arbitration, they will receive a compensatory 2010 draft pick between the first and second rounds.

The Rays have two potential starters in Dioner Navarro and Kelly Shoppach, though both hit better against lefthanded pitchers.

Manager Joe Maddon said he would be comfortable going forward with those two: "I think it could be kind of a really great combination actually - those are two pretty good catchers right there.''

Maddon said felt strongly that Navarro (who hit .218 overall and .183 lefthanded)  will rebound from his poor 2009 season. "I'm confident that he's a better lefthanded hitter than you saw last year,'' Maddon said. "I think he's a better hitter period.''

The other option to is decide between Navarro and Shoppach - then trade or non-tender the other before the Dec. 12 deadline - and add another catcher who is better against righthanded pitching.

[Last modified: Monday, December 21, 2009 12:52am]


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