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Rockies, Fowler reach two-year contract agreement

Rockies, Fowler reach two-year contract agreement

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Rockies closed the book on arbitration for 2013 by working out an agreement with center fielder Dexter Fowler on a two-year, $11.6 million contract on Monday.

Fowler, 28, the last of the six arbitration-eligible players to come to an agreement, is guaranteed $4.25 million this year -- a $1 million signing bonus, plus a $3.25 million salary. He'll also receive $7.35 million in 2014. The contract leaves Fowler with one year of arbitration, 2015, before he can be eligible for free agency.

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Fowler hit a career-high .300 with a .389 on-base percentage, 13 home runs and 53 RBIs as the Rockies' primary leadoff hitter last season. During this offseason, Colorado listened to trade interest for Fowler but held a steep price -- an indication of the value the club placed on Fowler, whose speed helps him patrol the spacious center field at Coors Field.

By reaching the contract, the Rockies will have no arbitration cases go to a hearing. They've had just three of them go to a hearing in their 21 seasons of existence.

Fowler is the second player to sign for more than one year. Right-handed pitcher Jhoulys Chacin agreed to a two-year, $6.5 million deal. The Rockies went into arbitration not necessarily looking to give out multiyear contracts, but amended that to say they were open to such contracts if the players and their representatives put together likeable proposals.

Colorado also reached one-year agreements with right-handed setup man Wilton Lopez ($1.7625 million), left-handed starter/reliever Josh Outman ($675,000), outfielder/first baseman Tyler Colvin ($2.275 million) and infielder Jonathan Herrera ($900,000).

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Hardball in the Rockies, and follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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