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Roundup: Howard, Phils $3 million apart in arbitration

1/19/2008 - MLB

Ryan Howard asked the Philadelphia Phillies for
a $10 million contract in salary arbitration, and Los Angeles Angels closer Francisco Rodriguez requested $12.5 million when
players and teams swapped figures.

Matt Holliday and Miguel Cabrera agreed to deals just hours
before the Friday afternoon exchange. Justin Morneau, Carlos Pena
and Scott Kazmir also avoided arbitration.

In all, 62 of the 110 players who filed for arbitration Tuesday
settled on terms before the swap of figures -- including 35 who
reached agreements early Friday.

The Phillies offered Howard, the 2006 NL MVP, a $7 million
salary. The $3 million gap between the sides was the largest among
the 48 players who exchanged proposals with their teams. Rodriguez
and the Angels were next at $2.5 million after the club offered him
$10 million.

Baltimore ace Erik Bedard asked for $8 million, while the
Orioles proposed $6 million. Houston reliever Jose Valverde, the
major league leader with 47 saves last season for Arizona,
requested $6.2 million and was offered $4.7 million by the Astros.

The New York Yankees ($640,000) and reliever Brian Bruney
($845,000) had the smallest difference.

Hearings are scheduled for the first three weeks of February in
St. Petersburg, Fla.

Holliday, runner-up for the NL MVP award last season, agreed to
a $23 million, two-year contract - one of the few
arbitration-eligible players to get a multiyear deal. The left
fielder hit .340 with 36 homers and 137 RBIs, leading the Rockies
to their first pennant. He finished a close second to
Philadelphia's Jimmy Rollins in MVP balloting.

Besides Holliday, Kansas City first baseman Ross Gload was the
only other player to get a multiyear deal Friday ($3.2 million over
two years).

Seven teams do not have any players left in arbitration: the
Chicago White Sox, Detroit, Seattle, Tampa Bay, Texas, Arizona and
Florida. The New York Mets have the most players remaining with
five.

The Diamondbacks agreed to one-year deals with five players:
All-Star second baseman Orlando Hudson ($6.25 million), catcher
Chris Snyder ($1,875,000), right-handed relievers Brandon Lyon
($3,125,000) and Chad Qualls ($1,312,500), and infielder Chris
Burke ($955,000).

Other players agreeing to one-year deals Friday included Seattle
pitcher Horacio Ramirez ($2.75 million), Colorado outfielder Willy
Taveras ($1,975,000), Texas catcher Gerald Laird ($1.6 million),
Florida pitcher Sergio Mitre ($1.2 million), Yankees infielder
Wilson Betemit ($1,165,000), St. Louis outfielder Rick Ankiel
($900,000), Boston reliever Javier Lopez ($840,000), Detroit
reliever Bobby Seay ($780,000), San Diego pitcher Wilfredo Ledezma
($620,000) and Dodgers outfielder Jason Repko ($487,500).

Also getting contracts were Angels first baseman Casey Kotchman
($1.45 million), Atlanta outfielder Matt Diaz ($1,225,000), Mets
reliever Aaron Heilman ($1.2 million), Angels third baseman Maicer
Izturis ($1.2 million), Florida pitcher Sergio Mitre ($1.2
million), Yankees infielder Wilson Betemit ($1,165,000), Pirates
reliever John Grabow ($1,135,000), Royals lefty Jorge De La Rosa
($1,025,000), Marlins outfielder Alfredo Amezaga ($945,000), St.
Louis outfielder Rick Ankiel ($900,000), Boston reliever Javier
Lopez ($840,000), Detroit reliever Bobby Seay ($780,000), San Diego
pitcher Wilfredo Ledezma ($620,000) and Dodgers outfielder Jason
Repko ($487,500).

Mark Teixeira, Huston Street and Brad Lidge were among the 22
players who avoided arbitration by agreeing to contracts Thursday.