Twins pitcher to receive $21 million, four-year contract
Eric Milton became the second Minnesota Twins pitcher to get a long-term contract, agreeing Friday to a $21 million, four-year deal.
The 25-year-old left-hander, who made $285,000 last season, gets $2.15 million this year, $3.85 million in 2002, $6 million in 2003 and $9 million in 2004. He can make an additional $850,000 during the contract in performance bonuses based on innings pitched.
"Eric Milton is one of the top left-handed pitchers in the American League and is emerging as one of the bright young talents in the game," Twins general manager Terry Ryan said.
Milton was 13-10 with a 4.86 ERA last season. He had 160 strikeouts and 44 walks in 33 starts.
On Sept. 11, 1999, Milton became the fourth Twin to pitch a no-hitter when the Twins beat Anaheim, 7-0, at the Metrodome.
Milton was drafted by the New York Yankees in the first round of the 1996 amateur draft out of the University of Maryland. The Twins acquired him on Feb. 6, 1998 along with outfielder Brian Buchanan, infielder Cristian Guzman and pitcher Danny Mota for second baseman Chuck Knoblauch.
During his rookie season in 1998, Milton became the second Twin since Brad Radke in 1995 to win as a starter in his major league debut. Radke is starting a $36 million, four-year deal.
Minnesota opens spring training when pitchers and catchers arrive in Fort Myers, Fla., on Feb. 18.
On a day of many deals, Arizona catcher Damion Miller won his salary arbitration case, getting a raise from $330,000 to $1.25 million instead of the Diamondbacks' offer of $850,000.
Miller hit .275 last season with 10 homers and 44 RBIs. Arbitrators Elisabeth Neumeier, Jack Clarke and Elliot Shriftman made the decision, a day after hearing the case in Phoenix.
Players have a 3-2 lead in arbitration cases decided this year. Thirty-one players remain in arbitration, with hearings scheduled through Jan. 21.
Four players in arbitration settled on one-year contracts: Detroit shortstop Deivi Cruz ($3,525,000), Philadelphia right-hander Robert Person ($2,975,000), Toronto right-hander Kelvim Escobar ($1.5 million) and St. Louis infielder Craig Paquette ($1.5 million).
Texas outfielder Gabe Kapler, who would have been eligible for arbitration next year, agreed to a $5.6 million, three-year contract.
Cincinnati agreed to a minor league contract with free-agent catcher Matt Walbeck, who would get a $400,000 deal if he makes the team.