Broxton, Ethier agree with Dodgers

Updated: January 21, 2010, 12:08 AM ET
By Tony Jackson | ESPNLosAngeles.com

Dodgers closer Jonathan Broxton and right fielder Andre Ethier avoided arbitration on Tuesday by agreeing to terms on two-year contracts and finalized those deals on Wednesday.

The deals came on the heels of a similar agreement with center fielder Matt Kemp, who signed last week for two years and $10.95 million, giving the Dodgers some measure of budgetary certainty over the next two seasons regarding three of their most talented and important young players.

Ethier received a $15.25 million deal, getting a $500,000 signing bonus and salaries of $5.5 million this year and $9.25 million in 2011.

Broxton will receive $4 million this year and $7 million in 2011. The salary in the second season could escalate to $7.5 million.

The agreements also came on a day when the Dodgers reached one-year agreements with all four of their other remaining arbitration-eligible players, hours shy of the deadline for teams and players to file arbitration numbers. With that, the Dodgers cleared their to-do list of all nine of their pending cases -- a list that included four former All-Stars and two players who finished in the top 10 in 2009 National League most valuable player voting -- without coming close to going to an actual hearing.

The agreement with Broxton buys him out of all his remaining arbitration eligibility. Ethier, like Kemp, will be eligible for arbitration after the 2011 season, when Broxton will be eligible for free agency.

The Dodgers also agreed to terms with relievers George Sherrill ($4.5 million) and Hong-Chih Kuo ($950,000), catcher Russell Martin ($5.05 million) and first baseman James Loney ($3.1 million).

Broxton, 25, avoided arbitration last year by agreeing to a one-year, $1.825 million deal, then, in his first full season as closer, had a career high 36 saves. He also finished 58 games, earning him an additional $150,000 in incentives.

Ethier, who will turn 28 during the first week of the regular season, came within minutes last February of going to an arbitration hearing, which would have been only the third such hearing by a Dodgers player since assistant general manager Kim Ng began handling all cases for the club in 2002. But after initially gathering in a conference room, the sides went back into a hallway before the hearing could begin and agreed on a $3.1 million deal.

Ethier went on to have a breakout season, hitting just .272 but shattering his previous career highs with 31 home runs and 106 RBI. He maxed out his incentives by coming to the plate 685 times, earning him an additional $100,000, putting his total salary ($3.2 million) at the exact midpoint between the arbitration numbers Ethier ($3.75 million) and the Dodgers ($2.65 million) had originally filed.

Sherrill, 32, who has been in the league more than four years and is Broxton's primary setup man, got a $1.75 million raise from last year's $2.75 million salary. He'll also get $75,000 each for 60 and 70 appearances, which could push the total value of his contract to $4.65 million.

Sherrill posted a 0.65 ERA in 30 appearances for the Dodgers after they acquired him from Baltimore in a three-player trade on July 30.

Martin, who will turn 27 next month, has been in the league more than three years but was in his second winter of eligibility because, like Ethier, he was a "super two'' last winter because of the number of days he played the season before. He gets a $1.15 million raise from last year's $3.9 million salary. He'll also get $50,000 each for 550 and 600 plate appearances, making his contract potentially worth as much as $5.15 million.

An All-Star each of the previous two seasons, Martin suffered an offensive dropoff last summer, posting career lows in average (.250), doubles (19) home runs (seven) and RBI (53).

Loney, 25, was eligible for arbitration for the first time and got a raise of $2.635 million from last year's $465,000. His contract carries no incentives beyond his base salary of $3.1 million.

Loney hit .281 with 13 homers last season and matched his career high with 90 RBI.

Kuo, 28, missed two months of last season with an elbow injury and appeared in only 35 games. He barely doubled his previous salary of $437,000, but he'll get an additional $25,000 for each of 55 and 60 appearances and $50,000 for each of 65 and 70, meaning he would max out at $1.1 million.

Tony Jackson covers the Dodgers for ESPNLosAngeles.com. Information from The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Tony Jackson

ESPNLosAngeles.com