Red Sox, Graffanino agree to one-year, $2.05M deal

BOSTON -- Infielder Tony Graffanino agreed Wednesday to a $2.05 million, one-year contract with the Boston Red Sox that avoids a salary arbitration hearing.

Graffanino, the Red Sox starting second baseman after being
acquired from Kansas City last July 19, is expected to compete for
a utility position after Boston acquired Mark Loretta from San

In 51 games with Boston last year, Graffanino hit .319 with four
homers and 20 RBI. In 110 games with the Red Sox and Royals, he
hit .309 with seven homers and 38 RBI.

He became a free agent and his decision to accept salary
arbitration last month was somewhat surprising after the Red Sox
obtained Loretta on Dec. 7 for backup catcher Doug Mirabelli.

The 33-year-old Graffanino was a solid addition to Boston before
making a critical error in the AL division series against the
Chicago White Sox.

A potential inning-ending, double-play grounder went through his
legs before Tadahito Iguchi hit a three-run homer off David Wells
for a 5-4 lead in Game 2. Chicago swept the three-game series then
beat Houston for the World Series title.