Hernandez, Gonzalez settle arbitration cases

Updated: January 19, 2009, 11:35 PM ET
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Nick Markakis reached a preliminary agreement on a $66 million, six-year contract with the Baltimore Orioles, and Ryan Madson struck a $12 million, three-year deal with the Philadelphia Phillies as players and teams rushed Monday to settle salary arbitration cases.

A day before the scheduled exchange of proposed figures, teams announced contracts for 14 players and six more reached deals that weren't publicly confirmed by the clubs.

Of the 111 players who filed for arbitration Thursday, 24 had agreed to contracts by Monday evening. A few dozen more were expected to reach agreements before Tuesday's swap.

The deals with Markakis and Madson were contingent on the players passing physicals, a pair of separate people familiar with the agreements said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because the agreements weren't final.

Markakis' deal, the second-richest in team history, covers three years he would have been eligible for arbitration and the first three after he would have been eligible for free agency. Markakis hit a career-high .306 with 20 homers and 87 RBIs for the Orioles last season, his third in the majors. He played in 157 games, drew 99 walks and led AL outfielders with 17 assists.

The only bigger deal for the Orioles was the $72 million, six-year contract shortstop Miguel Tejada signed before the 2003 season.

Madson was 4-2 with a 3.05 ERA in 76 games in 2008. The right-hander played a key role in a strong bullpen, helping the Phillies win their first World Series championship since 1980. Madson finished the season as the primary setup man for closer Brad Lidge, who was 48-for-48 in save chances, including the postseason.

The deal calls for Madson to receive a $1 million signing bonus, $2 million this season, $4.5 million in 2010 and $4.5 million in 2011. He would have been eligible for free agency after next season, and the deal is unusual because many of agent Scott Boras' clients opt to become free agents before agreeing to long-term contracts.

Four prominent closers agreed to one-year deals: Bobby Jenks of the Chicago White Sox ($5.6 million), Huston Street of Colorado ($4.5 million), Kevin Gregg of the Chicago Cubs ($4.2 million) and Mike Gonzalez of Atlanta ($3.45 million). Colorado didn't immediately announce its deals with Street and left-hander Jorge de la Rosa ($2 million).

Seattle right-hander Felix Hernandez agreed to a $3.8 million, one-year contract. Hernandez made $540,000 last year, when the 22-year-old right-hander went 9-11 with a 3.45 ERA and 175 strikeouts.

St. Louis announced deals with right-hander Todd Wellemeyer ($4.05 million) and outfielder Chris Duncan ($825,000), and the New York Mets reached agreements with reliever Duaner Sanchez ($1,687,500) and outfielder Jeremy Reed ($925,000).

The Los Angeles Angels agreed with catcher Mike Napoli ($2 million), Texas with right-hander Frank Francisco ($1,615,000), Kansas City with left-hander Jimmy Gobble ($1.35 million), Toronto with right-hander Brandon League ($640,000), Houston with catcher Humberto Quintero ($610,000) and the Los Angeles Dodgers with outfielder Jason Repko ($500,000).

Florida reached unannounced agreements with third baseman Jorge Cantu ($3.5 million) and outfielder Jeremy Hermida ($2.25 million).


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

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