Padres' Walker wins arbitration case
The Padres offered $2.75 million to Walker, who joined them in a trade with the Chicago Cubs on July 31.
"You don't want to go through something like that," Walker said. "It was painful. It worked out and we feel very lucky."
Walker said he accepted arbitration for the first time in his career because he wanted to stay with the Padres, the two-time NL West champions who lost each time in the opening round of the playoffs to the St. Louis Cardinals. He said he settled on his asking price so the Padres would have a tougher time trading him.
"It's all business and not personal," said Walker, who added that general manager Kevin Towers "handled it with class. That's all you can ask for. I want to be a part of this club."
Walker originally came over to play third base, making 22 starts there. He also made 13 starts at second base.
Walker hit .282 with three homers and 13 RBIs with the Padres. Overall last season, he hit .278 with nine homers and 53 RBIs.
"We certainly knew the risk factor going in," Towers said. "I talked with Walk and he was fine. This is something we can put behind us and move on. We're here to put our best 25 guys on the field and Todd is one of our better 25."
C Todd Greene, a non-roster invitee, dislocated his right shoulder while throwing the ball during a drill. "It doesn't look good," said Towers, who added that Greene will miss the remainder of spring training "and probably a lot longer." Manager Bud Black called it "just a freakish thing. It was the most benign of drills." The injury removes a right-handed bat off the bench. Greene hit .289 with two homers and 17 RBIs in 61 games for the San Francisco Giants last year.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
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