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D-Backs, Pennington avoid arbitration with two-year, $5M deal

CBSSports.com wire reports
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PHOENIX -- The Arizona Diamondbacks and shortstop Cliff Pennington have avoided an arbitration hearing by reaching a two-year, $5 million contract agreement, a person with knowledge of the situation said Wednesday.

The person spoke to the Associated Press on condition of anonymity because there has been no official announcement.

In arbitration filings, Pennington had sought $2.8 million for one year and Arizona had offered $1.8 million. He made $590,000 last season.

The deal was first reported by ESPN.

The Diamondbacks sent center fielder Chris Young to Oakland for Pennington last October.

The agreement leaves only outfielder Gerardo Parra in arbitration with the Diamondbacks. Parra has asked for $2.7 million, the Diamondbacks are offering $2.1 million. Parra is among a glut of outfielders on the Arizona roster, with speculation centering on possible trades involving either left fielder Jason Kubel or right fielder Justin Upton, who reportedly has vetoed a deal to Seattle.

Earlier, the Diamondbacks avoided arbitration with four players by reaching one-year contract agreements. Right-handed starter Ian Kennedy got $4,265,000, right-handed reliever Brad Ziegler $3,150,000, third baseman Chris Johnson $2,287,000 and left-handed reliever Tony Sipp $1,275,000.

Pennington hit a career-low .215 in 125 games with Oakland last season. In 2011, he hit .264 in 148 games.

Pennington will compete for playing time with Willie Bloomquist and with young newcomer Didi Gregorius, acquired in a three-team trade that sent one of Arizona's top pitching prospects, Trevor Bauer, to Cleveland. Gregorius, who turns 23 next month, was a prized prospect of the Cincinnati Reds and becomes an immediate candidate to become Arizona's everyday shortstop, one of the team's biggest needs going into spring training.

Diamondbacks pitchers and catchers report to spring training in Scottsdale on Feb. 11. Position players report on Feb. 14.

Copyright 2014 by STATS LLC and The Associated Press. Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and The Associated Press is strictly prohibited.
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