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Dodgers, Chad Billingsley agree to deal; Angels agree to terms with four players

Dodgers and pitcher settle on one year, $6.275 million. Angels avoid arbitration with Kendry Morales, Howie Kendrick, Erick Aybar and Reggie Willits.

January 18, 2011|By Dylan Hernandez and Mike DiGiovanna
  • The Dodgers and starting pitcher Chad Billingsley agreed to a one-year, $6.275-million contract on Tuesday.
The Dodgers and starting pitcher Chad Billingsley agreed to a one-year,… (Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles…)

The Dodgers and right-hander Chad Billingsley have avoided a salary arbitration hearing, agreeing Tuesday to a one-year, $6.275-million contract.

Billingsley, who was 12-11 with a 3.57 earned-run average last season, was eligible for arbitration for the second time. He was paid $3.85 million last season.

The team exchanged salary figures with its two remaining arbitration-eligible players, first baseman James Loney and left-handed reliever Hong-Chih Kuo.

Loney asked to be paid $5.25 million for the upcoming season and Kuo requested $3.075 million. The Dodgers countered by offering Loney $4.7 million and Kuo $2.55 million.

If Loney and Kuo can't reach agreements with the Dodgers, their salaries will be determined in arbitration hearings next month.

Loney was paid $3.1 million last season, when he hit .267 with 10 home runs and 88 runs batted in. Kuo, who was paid $950,000 last season, set a franchise record by posting a 1.20 ERA.

The Dodgers also finalized a one-year, $1-million contract with free-agent outfielder Marcus Thames and signed journeyman Gabe Kapler to a minor league contract that includes an invitation to their major league spring training camp.

Thames, who hit 12 home runs as a part-time player for the New York Yankees last season, is expected to split time with Jay Gibbons in left field. Thames can receive an additional $800,000 in incentives.

Angels, four players come to terms

The Angels came to terms with four more arbitration-eligible players but were unable to reach agreements with pitcher Jered Weaver and catcher Mike Napoli, each of whom moved closer to possible arbitration hearings by exchanging salary figures.

Weaver, the staff ace who was 13-12 with a 3.01 ERA and a major league-leading 233 strikeouts, requested a salary of $8.8 million, more than double his $4.265-million salary from last season. The Angels countered with $7.365 million.

Napoli, who hit .238 with a team-leading 26 home runs, 68 RBIs and a team-high 137 strikeouts, requested a salary of $6.1 million and the Angels countered with $5.3 million. Napoli was paid $3.6 million last season.

The Angels avoided arbitration with first baseman Kendry Morales, second baseman Howie Kendrick, shortstop Erick Aybar and reserve outfielder Reggie Willits, who all agreed to 2011 contracts.

Morales will receive $2.975 million, a considerable raise from his $700,000 salary in 2010. Kendrick will be paid $3.3 million, up from $1.75 million last season.

Aybar will get $3 million after receiving $2.05 million last season, and Willits will be paid $775,000, up from $625,000.

Morales had a breakout 2009 season, hitting .306 with 34 home runs and 108 RBIs, but he broke his left leg while jumping into home plate after hitting a game-winning home run against the Seattle Mariners on May 29 and sat out the rest of the 2010 season.

Morales, who was batting .290 with 11 homers and 39 RBIs at the time of the injury, is on course to return in spring training.

Aybar also had a breakout 2009, hitting .312 with a .353 on-base percentage, nine triples and 58 RBIs, but the speedy switch-hitter struggled to adjust to the leadoff spot last season and hit only .253 with a .306 on-base percentage, five homers and 29 RBIs.

Kendrick hit .279 with 10 homers, 41 doubles and 75 RBIs last season. Willits hit .258.

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