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AP source: Phillies strike deal with Werth

January 21, 2009 12:51:05 PM PST
Outfielder Jayson Werth and the Philadelphia Phillies reached a preliminary agreement on a $10 million, two-year contract, a person familiar with the agreement said Wednesday. Philadelphia also announced a one-year contract with reliever Chad Durbin worth $1,635,000.

Werth's deal was disclosed by a person who spoke on condition of anonymity because it is subject to a physical. Werth will receive a $1 million signing bonus, $2 million this season and $7 million in 2010.

He hit .273 with 24 home runs and 67 RBIs for the World Series champions, and would have been eligible for free agency after the season.

The agreements leave Ryan Howard as the last Phillies player in arbitration. He asked Tuesday for a raise from $10 million to $18 million, and he was offered $14 million.

Werth is a right-handed bat in a lineup that includes lefties Howard, Chase Utley and Raul Ibanez. Werth is a .267 hitter with 57 home runs and 222 RBIs over six seasons.

Durbin went 5-4 with a 2.87 ERA in a career-high 71 appearances last season, his first with the Phillies. He led NL relievers in innings (87 2-3) and appeared in six playoff games.

"Chad came to Philadelphia and in his first season of being a full-time reliever helped solidify what we believe to be one of the best bullpens in baseball," assistant general manager Scott Proefrock said.

Philadelphia already avoided arbitration with ace Cole Hamels, reliever Ryan Madson, outfielder Shane Victorino, starter Joe Blanton and pinch-hitter/infielder Greg Dobbs.

Werth had asked for $4 million in arbitration and had been offered $3 million, while Durbin had requested $1.95 million and had been offered $1.35 million.

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AP Baseball Writer Ronald Blum in New York contributed to this report.


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