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Tigers, Cabrera agree to 1 year, $11.3 million

Miguel-Cabrera

Cabrera

Rick Bowmer / AP Enlarge

DETROIT - Miguel Cabrera and the Detroit Tigers agreed yesterday to a one-year contract worth $11.3 million, avoiding salary arbitration before the all-star third baseman's first season with the team.

Cabrera and pitcher Dontrelle Willis joined Detroit as part of a trade with Florida in December. The Marlins received a package of six players, including two highly rated prospects: left-hander Andrew Miller and outfielder Cameron Maybin.

Cabrera, 24, can become a free agent after the 2009 season, but the Tigers hope to keep him long- term.

In 157 games with the Marlins in 2007, Cabrera hit .320 with 91 runs scored, 38 doubles, two triples, 34 home runs and 119 RBIs. Cabrera compiled a .313 batting average in five seasons with the club.

Detroit also agreed to a $780,000, one-year contract with pitcher Bobby Seay.

The 29-year-old left-hander was 3-0 with a 2.33 ERA in 58 games with the Tigers last season.

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 yesterday.

While dozens of players agreed to contracts, Ryan Howard and the Philadelphia Phillies remained $3 million apart in negotiations.

The 2006 NL MVP asked the 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 on a busy day in baseball.

The Phillies offered Howard 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.

A flurry of deals were completed just before yesterday afternoon's exchange of numbers. Matt Holliday, Justin Morneau, Carlos Pena and Scott Kazmir were among the stars who avoided arbitration.

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.

After making $4.4 million last season, Holliday gets $9.5 million this year and $13.5 million in 2009.

Morneau, the 2006 AL MVP, agreed to a $7.4 million, one-year contract with Minnesota. He is not eligible for free agency until after the 2010 season.

Pena reached both a $6 million, one-year deal with Tampa Bay and a preliminary agreement on a $24,125,000, three-year contract that is pending a physical.

Kazmir and the Devil Rays agreed to a $3,785,000, one-year contract.

Besides Holliday, Kansas City first baseman Ross Gload was the only other player to get a multiyear deal yesterday ($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 arbitration-eligible players who reached one-year deals yesterday included Houston third baseman Ty Wigginton ($4.35 million), Oakland pitcher Joe Blanton ($3.7 million), Pittsburgh outfielder Xavier Nady ($3.35 million), Seattle pitcher Horacio Ramirez ($2.75 million), Florida closer Kevin Gregg ($2.5 million), Minnesota reliever Juan Rincon ($2,475,000), Kansas City catcher John Buck ($2.2 million), Colorado outfielder Willy Taveras ($1,975,000), and Texas catcher Gerald Laird ($1.6 million).

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), San Diego pitcher Wilfredo Ledezma ($620,000) and Dodgers outfielder Jason Repko ($487,500).

HENNESSEY SETTLES: San Francisco pitcher Brad Hennessey, 28, a Whitmer graduate, agreed to a one-year deal for $1.6 million with San Francisco.

Hennessey, a right-hander, went 4-5 with a 3.42 ERA last year with 19 saves in 69 appearances.

WASHINGTON - Roger Clemens was asked by Congress to submit to a deposition or transcribed interview Jan. 26, more than two weeks before the House hearing where the pitcher and his former trainer, Brian McNamee, are to testify.

Letters were sent to

Clemens, McNamee and three other people yesterday by House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform chairman Henry Waxman and ranking Republican Tom Davis.

The letters ask the witnesses to meet with committee staff on specific dates leading up to the panel's scheduled Feb. 13 hearing.

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