Sox avoid arbitration with Mota

Red Sox avoid arbitration with reliever Mota

BOSTON -- The Red Sox were able to avoid salary arbitration with right-hander Guillermo Mota, signing the recently acquired reliever to a one-year deal on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Red Sox exchanged arbitration figures with right-handers Josh Beckett and Bronson Arroyo.

The Sox still hope to sign Beckett and Arroyo before an arbitration hearing, which would take place in February.

Avoiding arbitration is an art the Red Sox have mastered in recent years, as they haven't had a single hearing the last three winters.

Arroyo is asking for $4.2 million in 2006, and the Red Sox have countered with $2.95 million.

In his second year as a full-time starter for the Red Sox, Arroyo went 14-10 with a 4.51 ERA and led the staff in quality starts, with 20.

As for Beckett, the much-ballyhooed new acquisition, the Red Sox have offered him $3.75 million. Beckett, who won 15 games in 2005, a career high, is asking for $4.9 million.

Mota figures to be a key member of Boston's revamped bullpen in 2006, sharing setup duty with Mike Timlin, Rudy Seanez and Julian Tavarez.

Though the 2005 season wasn't one of Mota's best (2-2, 4.70 ERA), the Red Sox think he can again approach the level he reached with the Dodgers in 2003, when he posted a 1.97 ERA.

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.