From ESPN.com, the National League MVP avoids arbitration.
“The Cincinnati Reds have agreed to a three-year, $38 million deal with first baseman Joey Votto, sources told ESPN The Magazine’s Buster Olney on Sunday. The deal is pending a physical, which is scheduled for Monday, the sources said. Votto was eligible for arbitration for the first time this offseason.”
Also from Olney via Drew Silva at Hardball Talk:
“The A’s avoided arbitration with reliever Brad Ziegler on Saturday by agreeing to a one-year, $1.25 million contract.”
Other arbitration-related signings – outfielder Ben Francisco signed a 1 year/$1.175 million contract with the Phillies, catcher Geovanny Soto signed a 1 year/$ million deal with the Cubs, reliever Kyle McClellan agreed to a 1 year deal with St. Louis, the Tigers reached a 1 year/$ 1.4 million agreement with reliever Joel Zumaya and a 2 year/$ 3.4 million deal with outfielder Ryan Radburn and Toronto signed reliever Carlos Villanueva to a 1 year/$ 1.415 million contract.
American League MVP Josh Hamilton filed for arbitration, and Josh, his agent and the Texas Rangers have not yet come to an agreement on a new contract. That is not surprising, as Hamilton is only being released from Arlington Memorial Hospital today after spending a week under doctor’s care due to pneumonia.
There will be continued movement and offers to the remaining arb-eligible players through Tuesday. If the player and his agent and the teams cannot come to a contract agreement by then, salary figures will be formally exchanged and the arbitration process will commence. Players and owners can continue to negotiate until February 1st, but if no agreement is reached by that time, the case will be heard by an arbitrator sometime next month
“I’m Ready For My Close Up”
Silva passes along a Hank Schulman story from the San Francisco Chronicle that Pablo Sandoval, the “Kung Fu Panda” is taking part in a strenuous off-season workout regimen that is producing results.
“(Rich) Aurilia lives in Phoenix and told me today he saw Pablo at a shopping mall just before Christmas. Sandoval told him he had lost 17 pounds. Last week, Sandoval was in Venezuela and held a news conference at a baseball museum. According to reports in the Venezuelan papers, Sandoval said he lost 16 “kilos” with the goal of dropping 24 by the start of spring training. I’ve been told that something got lost in the translation and he meant “pounds.”
Why is Sandoval working so hard? Is it because he was benched at times during the end of the 2010 season? Does he fear exile to the minor leagues if he starts the 2011 season slowly?
Perhaps it is due to the announcement that the San Francisco Giants have agreed with Showtime and Major League Baseball Productions to do a baseball reality show and Pablo merely wants to be ready for his close up?
Is the show and the unprecedented access to be allowed at the park and on the road a good idea? There are conflicting early opinions – here and here- on that question.