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Arroyo cashes in with Cincinnati

Former Sox pitcher gets $25m extension

Bronson Arroyo is furthering his musical career in Cincinnati, but it's his right arm, not his voice, that Reds GM Wayne Krivsky (right) values most. Bronson Arroyo is furthering his musical career in Cincinnati, but it's his right arm, not his voice, that Reds GM Wayne Krivsky (right) values most. (TOM UHLMAN/ASSOCIATED PRESS)

The Cincinnati Reds have locked up their top two starting pitchers for the next four years.

Former Red Sox righthander Bronson Arroyo got a two-year extension yesterday that will pay him $25 million and keep him under contract through at least 2010. There's a team option for the following season.

The agreement came two days after top starter Aaron Harang avoided arbitration by agreeing to a $36.5 million, four-year deal that also includes a club option for 2011.

"I honestly didn't think they were going to even talk to me about a contract this offseason," said Arroyo, who had two years left on his current deal. "But they were serious."

For the first time since they won the World Series in 1990, the Reds have a pair of starters worth such long-term deals and an owner willing to spend the money. Harang and Arroyo will make at least $71 million over the next four years.

"Most baseball people agree that with Bronson and Aaron Harang, the top of our rotation is as strong as any in baseball," owner Bob Castellini said.

Arroyo, 29, went 14-11, started 35 games, pitched a league-high 240 2/3 innings, had a 3.29 ERA, and made the National League All-Star team.

The Reds got Arroyo from Boston for outfielder Wily Mo Peña during spring training last year.

"Last year in the beginning of the season, I was still watching a lot of Sox games and I was kind of still caught up in the middle emotionally about being traded," Arroyo said. "After being here a year and going through what we went through last year with having a chance to make the playoffs, I'm a Red through and through."

Arroyo enjoyed the city and developed a local following for his musical career. The singer/guitarist has played several concerts in the area, the first of which was sponsored by the Reds' community fund.

"I think the team here definitely has embraced that part of me a little more than Boston did," he said. "I think Boston discouraged it from the fact that they thought it was a little bit of a distraction to me."

Arroyo gets base salaries of $4,125,000 this year and $3.95 million in 2008, figures set under the old contract. The extension includes a $2.5 million signing bonus that will be paid next year. Arroyo will get salaries of $9.5 million in 2009 and $11 million in 2010. There is a club option at $11 million for 2011 with a $2 million buyout. The option can escalate to $13 million, based on innings.

A's land Stewart
Outfielder Shannon Stewart and the Oakland Athletics have agreed to a $1 million, one-year contract. Stewart can earn an additional $1.5 million in performance bonuses under the deal. He batted .293 last year with 2 homers and 21 RBIs in 174 at-bats for the Minnesota Twins. He was bothered by foot injuries and played in just 44 games. Stewart, who turns 33 later this month, has a .299 career average and 102 home runs in 12 big league seasons. He started his major league career with the Toronto Blue Jays and spent the last 3 1/2 seasons with the Twins . . . Mark Shapiro has one more contract he'd like to get finalized before the end of spring training -- his own. The Indians general manager, in the final season of a two-year extension he signed in 2004, has had productive negotiations with Cleveland owner Paul Dolan about a multiyear contract. "We have had a series of positive and substantive conversations that leave me hopeful we will get something done," Shapiro said. Dolan and Shapiro had agreed to delay talks until after the club's winter makeover, which included the signing of six free agents as well as the acquisition of second baseman Josh Barfield in a trade . . . Righthanders Robinson Tejeda, Edinson Volquez, and Josh Rupe were among 10 players who agreed to one-year contracts with the Texas Rangers. Tejeda appears to have an inside track to the No. 4 spot in the rotation after going 2-1 with a 1.13 ERA in September. He bounced between Triple A Oklahoma and Texas, where he was 5-5 with a 4.28 ERA in 14 starts. Volquez struggled for the second straight year, going 1-6 with a 7.29 ERA. Rupe was 0-1 with a 3.41 ERA in 16 relief appearances. Tejeda gets a $389,446 salary if he's with the Rangers and $150,180 if he's in the minors. Volquez has a salary of $382,000/$83,000, Rupe $382,000/$171,692. Shortstop Joaquin Arias ($381,000/$60,000), who came to Texas in the Alex Rodriguez trade with the Yankees three years ago, will spend time this spring learning how to play center field. Righthanders Scott Feldman ($388,203/$144,300), Omar Beltre ($380,000/$60,000), and Alexi Ogando and lefthander A.J. Murray (both $380,000/$30,000) also agreed to deals, as did outfielder Freddy Guzman ($382,000/$160,398) and catcher Chris Stewart ($381,000/$60,000).

Selig a Bonds no-show?
Shadowed by steroid speculation, Barry Bonds might get a telephone call from baseball commissioner Bud Selig instead of a handshake if the San Francisco Giants slugger breaks Hank Aaron's home run record. Selig wouldn't say yesterday whether he would attend any Giants games if and when Bonds closes in on the mark. Selig insisted that Major League Baseball would celebrate Bonds's potential feat exactly as it does any other major milestone, such as a pitcher's 300th win. Last year, Selig telephoned San Diego closer Trevor Hoffman when he became the career saves leader. "I wasn't there when Roger Clemens won his 300th game. [Bonds's bid is] a matter I'll determine at some point in the future," Selig said at a luncheon in San Francisco hosted by Fox Sports Bay Area. "Let me say it, and I'm not going to say anymore. That's it." Bonds, 42, needs 22 homers to pass Aaron's 755. Bonds's $15.8 million, one-year contract with the Giants is unresolved.

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