Infielder Eric Bruntlett avoids arbitration, agreeing to 1-year deal with Phillies
Bruntlett had requested $800,000 in arbitration. He can earn up to $200,000 in performance bonuses. The 29-year-old utilityman came to Philadelphia along with closer Brad Lidge in a trade with Houston last November.
Howard, the 2006 NL MVP, is seeking $10 million. The Phillies offered $7 million. If Howard wins his case, it'll be the highest amount received by a player in his first year of arbitration eligibility.
Howard's hearing is scheduled for Feb. 20. The $3 million difference is the largest among all arbitration figures.
Bruntlett, who can play all four infield positions, hit .246 with 14 RBIs in 80 games for the Astros last season. He has a .250 average with nine homers and 50 RBIs in 320 career games.
In another move, the Phillies designated right-hander Anderson Garcia for assignment to make room for third baseman Pedro Feliz on the 40-man roster.
Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press
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