Jays Avoid Arbitration w/ Hillenbrand, Walker

Jays Avoid Arbitration w/ Hillenbrand, Walker

The Toronto Blue Jays and Shea Hillenbrand avoided arbitration on Thursday, as they agreed to a one-year deal worth $5.8 million for the 2006 season. The two sides had originally set an arbitration hearing for February 15, after they could not come to terms on a deal.

Hillenbrand was asking for $6.7 million in arbitration, while the Blue Jays were only offering $5 million. The $5.8 million is $50,000 short of the midpoint of the two figures.

Hillenbrand, who batted .291 with 18 home runs and 82 runs batted in, during the 2005 season, can earn an extra $25,000 for 610 plate appearances and another $25,000 for reaching 635 plate appearances.

The corner infielder/designated hitter made $3.87 million during his first season with the Blue Jays.

Walker will earn $650,000 in the 2006 season. Walker pitched to a 6-6 record with a 3.54 ERA in 2005.

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