Twins, Cuddyer agree to 1-year, $3.575 million contract

Updated: February 15, 2007, 6:35 PM ET
Associated Press

PHOENIX -- Michael Cuddyer and the Minnesota Twins agreed to terms Thursday on a $3.575 million, one-year contract, avoiding arbitration minutes before their hearing was scheduled at a Phoenix hotel.

The deal also includes a $50,000 bonus if Cuddyer gets at least 650 plate appearances in 2007. After making $1.35 million last season and posting career-best numbers in his first full season as a regular, Cuddyer asked for $4.25 million and the Twins offered $3 million. The two sides were together in a room waiting to argue their cases before the three-person panel, when they walked out and settled in the hall.

Batting cleanup between catcher Joe Mauer, the AL's batting champ, and first baseman Justin Morneau, the AL's most valuable player, Cuddyer hit .284 with 24 homers, 109 RBIs and 102 runs scored. His 11 outfield assists were tied for third in the league.

Minnesota had six players eligible for arbitration this year, but settled on contracts with each of them without going to a hearing. Twins pitchers and catchers are required to report to spring training in Fort Myers, Fla., by Sunday with the full squad due by Feb. 23.

Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press