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Balfour agrees to $1.4-million deal

Posted Jan 16, 2009 by Marc Lancaster

Updated Jan 16, 2009 at 09:29 AM

Reliever Grant Balfour has avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year contract that will pay him $1.4 million, a Rays official confirmed.

Balfour’s salary last season was $500,000, though he wasn’t in the majors the entire year. Either way, he proved among the most valuable members of the AL champs as he helped solidify the back end of the bullpen once he arrived in Tampa Bay.

The Rays have three remaining arbitration-eligible players: Willy Aybar, Jason Bartlett and Dioner Navarro. They would prefer to get all three under contract before next Tuesday’s deadline to exchange arbitration figures.

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