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Rowand, Phillies decline options; eligible for arbitration

PHILADELPHIA -- Aaron Rowand and the Philadelphia Phillies both declined their respective options for the 2007 season Wednesday, making the center fielder eligible for salary arbitration.

Rowand hit .262 with 12 home runs and 47 RBI in 109 games before his season ended after he broke his ankle in a collision during an Aug. 22 game at Chicago.

Rowand, acquired last offseason from the Chicago White Sox for Jim Thome, became an instant fan favorite in Philadelphia after he broke his nose on a spectacular run-saving catch against the Mets
in May.

After Rowand declined a $3.25 million player option, the Phillies declined a $5 million team option. He made $3.25 million this year.

Rowand joined pitchers Ryan Madson, Brett Myers, Geoff Geary and All-Star second baseman Chase Utley as arbitration-eligible players.