Willingham agrees to one-year deal

Updated: February 18, 2009, 3:27 PM ET
Associated Press

VIERA, Fla. -- Outfielder Josh Willingham and the Washington Nationals agreed to a $2.95 million contract for 2009, avoiding an arbitration hearing scheduled for Wednesday.

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Willingham, who made $405,000 last season, had submitted an arbitration figure of $3.6 million. The Nationals had countered with $2.55 million.

His new one-year deal calls for performance bonuses of $25,000 each for 525, 550, 575 and 600 plate appearances.

The Nationals still have one more player scheduled for arbitration, third baseman Ryan Zimmerman.

Willingham hit .254 with 15 homers and 51 RBIs last season for Florida, which traded him to Washington with left-hander Scott Olsen in a deal that sent infielder Emilio Bonifacio to the Marlins.

Olsen avoided arbitration earlier this month when he agreed to a $2.8 million, one-year contract.

In Washington's other case, right-hander Shawn Hill won his hearing and was awarded a salary of $775,000 this season. The Nationals submitted a figure of $500,000.


Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press