FORT MYERS, Fla. -- The Twins avoided arbitration with their only remaining arbitration-eligible player Thursday as they signed outfielder Michael Cuddyer to a one-year deal. Cuddyer's arbitration hearing had been scheduled for Thursday afternoon, but the two sides were able to come to an agreement just before the proceedings began. Cuddyer and the Twins agreed to a one-year, $3.575 million deal with a $50,000 bonus if he has 650 plate appearances or more in 2007. Cuddyer, 27, established career highs in every offensive category last season as he batted .284 with 41 doubles, 24 home runs, 109 RBIs and 102 runs scored in 150 games. He was also just the 18th player in franchise history to score 100 or more runs and drive in over 100 runs in the same season.
This was Cuddyer's second year of arbitration. He won't be eligible for free agency until after the 2009 season. The Twins had previously settled with their five other arbitration-eligible players. Those signings included multiyear deals with Joe Mauer (four years, $33 million) and Nick Punto (two years, $4.2 million), and one-year deals with Justin Morneau ($4.5 million), Lew Ford ($985,000) and Juan Rincon ($2 million).
Kelly Thesier is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.