Gaudin agrees to $1.77M deal with Athletics

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Right-hander Chad Gaudin agreed Friday to
a $1,775,000, one-year contract with the Athletics, becoming
Oakland's final player in arbitration to settle.

Gaudin was 11-13 with a 4.42 ERA last season in his first year
as a member of the A's starting rotation. Though he slumped with a
3-10 record after the All-Star break, Gaudin tied for the AL lead
with 34 starts after pitching exclusively in relief in 2006.

The 24-year-old Gaudin underwent operations on his left hip and
right foot on Dec. 18 and is still in a walking boot. His hip,
which needed surgery to repair a torn labrum, is recovering well,
manager Bob Geren said.

"He's probably the furthest away," Geren said of the health of
his starting pitchers.

Gaudin is expected to be part of a rotation also featuring
right-handers Joe Blanton, Rich Harden and Justin Duchscherer. The
A's open the season in Japan against the World Series champion
Boston Red Sox on March 25 and 26, and might not need a fifth
starter until April 15 -- giving Gaudin ample time to get his body

Gaudin's agreement was halfway between the $2.05 million he had
asked for arbitration and the $1.5 million the team had offered. In
addition to his salary, Gaudin could earn $100,000 in performance
bonuses: $50,000 for 200 innings and $25,000 each for 205 and 210

Oakland also claimed outfielder Jeff Fiorentino off waivers from
Cincinnati and designated outfielder Ruddy Lugo for assignment.
Fiorentino spent last season in the Baltimore Orioles organization,
batting .282 with 15 homers and 65 RBIs for Double-A Bowie, before
Cincinnati claimed him off waivers Jan. 4.