Twins, Cuddyer avoid arbitration by agreeing on 1-year deal

Updated: February 15, 2007, 6:23 PM ET
Associated Press

PHOENIX -- Right fielder Michael Cuddyer and the Minnesota Twins agreed to a $3,575,000, one-year contract Thursday, avoiding arbitration minutes before their scheduled hearing.

Cuddyer batted .284 with 24 homers, 109 RBIs and 102 runs scored last season, hitting cleanup between AL batting champion Joe Mauer and league MVP Justin Morneau. Cuddyer's 11 outfield assists were tied for third in the league as well.

The deal includes a $50,000 bonus if Cuddyer gets at least 650 plate appearances in 2007.

After making $1.35 million last year and posting career-best numbers in his first full season as a regular, Cuddyer asked for $4.25 million and the Twins offered $3 million. The sides were together in a room waiting to argue their cases before the three-person panel when they walked out and settled in the hall.

Minnesota had six players eligible for arbitration this year, but settled on contracts with each of them without going to a hearing. Twins pitchers and catchers are required to report to spring training in Fort Myers, Fla., by Sunday, with the full squad due by Feb. 23.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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