Broussard avoids arbitration, agrees to $2.5M deal

Updated: January 25, 2006, 8:29 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

CLEVELAND -- First baseman Ben Broussard avoided salary arbitration on Wednesday by agreeing to terms on a one-year, $2.5 million contract with the Cleveland Indians, who still have outfielder Coco Crisp.

First Base
Cleveland Indians

Profile
2005 SEASON STATISTICS
GM HR RBI R OBP AVG
142 19 68 59 .307 .255

Broussard is expected to platoon this season with recently signed free agent Eduardo Perez. Last year, Broussard made $365,000 while batting .255 with a career-high 19 homers and 68 RBI in 142 games.

He had initially asked for $2.6 million in arbitration and had been offered $2.2 million.

The Indians were somewhat disappointed in the 29-year-old's production in 2005, one season after Broussard drove in 82 runs -- the most RBI by any AL player with less than 425 at-bats.

Broussard's base salary will be $2,487,500 this season and he can earn an additional $25,000 each for 525 and 550 plate appearances, although it's unlikely he'll get anywhere near that number if he's not playing every day.

Indians general manager Mark Shapiro said Perez, 36, is likely to play some in the outfield and get about 350 at-bats.

Meanwhile, Shapiro remained quiet about the proposed three-team trade that would have sent Crisp to the Boston Red Sox for reliever Guillermo Mota and third base prospect Andy Marte.

The deal appeared to dissolve Tuesday when Mota failed his physical, giving the Indians concerns about his right shoulder. Mota, who could replace Bob Howry in Cleveland's bullpen, made just one appearance after Sept. 9 because of a sore shoulder. Howry signed as a free agent with the Chicago White Sox this winter.

ESPN.com's Jayson stark reported Wednesday that the Red Sox and Indians were trying to restructure the Crisp-to-Boston deal, while the related Indians-Phillies trade of left-handed reliever Arthur Rhodes for outfielder Jason Michaels was being described as being "in a holding pattern," according to a source involved in those discussions.

On Tuesday, a Phillies official, speaking on condition of anonymity because no deal was ever announced, told the Associated Press that the Phillies and Indians still could end up making a trade.

Mota and Marte have not played for the Red Sox, having been acquired this winter in separate deals.

Marte, one of the top prospects in Atlanta's system, went to Boston for shortstop Edgar Renteria. But Boston needs a center fielder to replace Johnny Damon, who signed as a free agent with the New York Yankees.

Crisp, a fan favorite in Cleveland, batted .300 with 16 homers, 69 RBI and stole 15 bases for the Indians.

The Red Sox were also expected to include catching prospect Kelly Shoppach in the Cleveland deal. The Indians had reportedly agreed to send reliever David Riske and backup catcher Josh Bard to Boston.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.

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