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posted: 1/19/2010 12:01 AM

Players, clubs rush to avoid arbitration

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Players and clubs rushed to settle salary arbitration cases before the scheduled exchange of figures Tuesday.

Twelve more players reached agreements Monday, leaving 110 set to swap salaries among the 128 who filed for arbitration last Friday. Dozens more were expected to settle by Tuesday morning.

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Relief pitcher Tony Pena avoided salary arbitration, agreeing to a one-year, $1.2 million contract with the White Sox.

Pena, acquired in a July 7 trade from the Arizona Diamondbacks for first baseman Brandon Allen, was 1-2 with a 3.75 ERA and 1 save in 35 games with the Sox.

Starting pitcher John Danks is the White Sox' only remaining player eligible for arbitration.

Florida struck one-year deals with second baseman Dan Uggla ($7.8 million) and pitchers Anibal Sanchez ($1.25 million) and Renyel Pinto ($1,075,000).

The frugal Marlins, under pressure from the players association, agreed last week to increase their payroll from last year's $37.5 million, the major-league low. Two days later, they agreed to a $39 million, four-year contract with pitcher Josh Johnson, a deal the team still has not officially announced.

Uggla hit .243 with a Marlins-high 31 homers and 90 RBI last year. He defeated Florida in arbitration last winter, when he was awarded a salary of $5.35 million rather than the team's offer of $4.4 million.

Also agreeing to one-year contracts were Texas pitcher C.J. Wilson ($3.1 million), Milwaukee outfielder Jody Gerut ($2 million), Toronto pitcher Shaun Marcum ($850,000) and Cincinnati pitcher Jared Burton ($810,000).

Arizona settled with right-handed relievers Chad Qualls ($4,185,000) and Aaron Heilman ($2.15 million), while the New York Yankees reached agreements with pitchers Chad Gaudin ($2.95 million) and Boone Logan ($590,000).

Two-time NL Cy Young Award winner Tim Lincecum could have the most interesting arbitration case. He is 33-12 over the past two seasons for the San Francisco Giants and was a bargain at $650,000 last year. Eligible for arbitration for the first time as a so-called "Super 2" - a player in the top 17 percent of service time between two and three seasons - he is likely to file at well beyond $10 million.

Among free agents, Jerry Hairston Jr. agreed to a $2,125,000, one-year deal with the Padres, two days after San Diego reacquired Hairston's younger brother, Scott, in a trade with Oakland. The Pittsburgh Pirates finalized a $1.35 million, one-year contract with reliever Brendan Donnelly.

Pujols backs McGwire: National League MVP Albert Pujols offered his support to Mark McGwire, the St. Louis Cardinals' new hitting coach who admitted a week ago that he used steroids while breaking the single-season home run record.

Pujols said Monday that he told McGwire he was proud of him for making the disclosure. He said he's also looking forward to working with McGwire in spring training.

Offerman banned: Jose Offerman was banned for life by the Dominican winter league for throwing a punch at an umpire during an argument on the baseball field.

The manager of the Licey Tigers, a former major-league all-star, appeared to hit first-base umpire Daniel Reyburn in the face or neck with a fist during Saturday's playoff game against the Cibao Giants. Reyburn fell to the ground.

The Dominican league's president, Leonardo Matos Berrido, announced the ban Monday. He said the decision against Offerman was made shortly after the attack.

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