Thu, Jan 22, 2009 - Page 19 News List

Papelbon clinches multimillion dollar deal with Boston

AGENCIES , BOSTON

The Boston Red Sox avoided arbitration on Tuesday by agreeing to terms with closing pitcher Jonathan Papelbon on a one-year deal.

Terms were not disclosed, but Sports Illustrated reported the deal was worth US$6.25 million, which would be a record for an arbitration-eligible relief pitcher.

A three-time All-Star, Papelbon went 5-4 with a 2.34 ERA with 41 saves last season — the third-most in the American League.

ORIOLES

The Baltimore Orioles avoided arbitration with Luke Scott by agreeing to terms with the outfielder on a one-year contract, the team said on Tuesday.

Scott, 30, batted .257 with 23 home runs and 65 RBIs in 148 games for the Orioles last year. In 379 major league games, Scott has a .266 average with 51 home runs and 170 RBIs.

He was acquired from the Houston Astros in December 2007 along with four other players in exchange for shortstop Miguel Tejada.

Financial terms of the contract were not announced.

The Orioles finished in last place in the American League East last year with a 68-93 record.

PHILLIES

The Philadelphia Phillies meanwhile continued preparations for their World Series title defense by securing outfielder Shane Victorino and reliever Ryan Madson to new deals, while slugger Ryan Howard headed to arbitration.

Victorino, who hit a grand slam home run in the National League Division Series against Milwaukee, earned a big raise for his playoff contributions, signing a one-year deal worth US$3.15 million, according to a report on MLB.com on Tuesday.

The 28-year-old switch-hitter batted .293 with 14 home runs, 58 RBI and 36 stolen bases in 146 games last season.

Philadelphia also shored up their bullpen, inking Madson to a three-year US$12 million contract.

The right-hander was 4-2 with a 3.05 ERA in 76 games but was at his best in the post-season posting a sparkling 3-0 record with a 2.13 ERA in 11 appearances.

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