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Polanco, Phillies Agree to $4.6M Deal

January 18, 2005

PHILADELPHIA (AP) _ Versatile infielder Placido Polanco and the Philadelphia Phillies agreed Tuesday to a $4.6 million, one-year contract, avoiding arbitration.

Polanco, a full-time player in his 2 1/2 seasons with the Phillies, can earn up to $5.1 million under the deal, which avoided salary arbitration.

He is expected to move into a backup role with former first-round pick Chase Utley taking over as the starting second baseman.

Polanco, who came to the Phillies in the trade that sent disgruntled All-Star third baseman Scott Rolen to the St. Louis Cardinals in July 2002, hit .298 with a career-high 17 homers and 55 RBIs last season.

Polanco made $3.95 million last year, when he started 105 games at second base and 11 at third base. He surprised by the Phillies by accepting their arbitration offer in December.

Utley, the 15th overall pick in the 2000 amateur draft, hit .266 with 13 homers and 57 RBIs in just 267 at-bats last season.

The Phillies still had three players in arbitration: shortstop Jimmy Rollins, right-hander Vicente Padilla and outfielder Jason Michaels.

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