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Tigers sign 4; waiting on Verlander

DETROIT - Catcher Gerald Laird and pitchers Edwin Jackson, Joel Zumaya, and Bobby Seay agreed yesterday to one-year contracts with the Detroit Tigers, while right-hander Justin Verlander was unable to settle and swapped figures with the team in salary arbitration.

Verlander, 11-7 with a 4.84 ERA in 2008, asked for a raise from $1.13 million to $4.15 million while Detroit offered $3.2 million. If the sides don't settle, the case will go to a hearing.

Laird's agreement is worth $2.8 million, while Jackson gets $2.2 million, Seay $1.3 million, and Zumaya $735,0000. Detroit also agreed to a minor league contract with right-hander Juan Rincon.

Acquired from Texas during the winter meetings, Laird hit .276 with 24 doubles, six homers and 41 RBIs in 95 games with the Rangers in 2008 last year. He can earn an additional $100,000 in performance bonuses: $50,000 each for 100 and 110 game appearances.

Zumaya was 0-2 with a 3.47 ERA in 21 games last season, when he was out until mid-June following shoulder surgery, then went back on the disabled list in August because of a stress fracture in a bone in his right shoulder.

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