Bartlett, Rays agree on 1-year contract

Updated: January 20, 2009, 2:36 PM ET
Associated Press

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- Shortstop Jason Bartlett and the Tampa Bay Rays agreed Tuesday on a one-year contract worth $1,981,250, avoiding arbitration.

Bartlett, part of the November 2007 trade that also brought right-hander Matt Garza to the AL champions in exchange for Delmon Young, made $412,500 while helping solidify the Rays' defense last season.

Manager Joe Maddon often referred to the 29-year-old as Tampa Bay's most valuable player during the team's run to the World Series. The Rays were 78-47 when he was in the lineup, compared to 7-9 when he was on the disabled list and 19-18 when he did not start.

Bartlett batted a team-leading .286 with one homer, 37 RBIs and 20 stolen bases. He hit an AL-best .379 against left-handed pitching.

His deal left third baseman Willy Aybar and catcher Dioner Navarro as the last Rays in arbitration.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press

This story is from ESPN.com's automated news wire. Wire index

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