D-backs avoid arbitration with Pennington

PHOENIX (AP) — The Diamondbacks and shortstop Chris Pennington avoided an arbitration hearing by reaching a two-year, $5 million contract agreement on Wednesday, a person with knowledge of the situation said.

The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because there has been no official announcement. The deal was first reported by ESPN.

In arbitration filings, Pennington had sought $2.8 million for one year, and the D-backs had offered $1.8 million. He made $590,000 last season.

The Diamondbacks sent center fielder Chris Young to Oakland for Pennington in October. Pennington hit a career-low .215 in 125 games with Oakland last season. In 2011, he hit .264 in 148 games.

Pennington
will compete for playing time with Willie Bloomquist and young
newcomer Didi Gregorius, acquired in a three-team trade that sent one of
the D-backs’ top pitching prospects, Trevor Bauer, to Cleveland.
Gregorius, who turns 23 next month, was a prized prospect in the Cincinnati organization and becomes an immediate candidate to become Arizona’s
everyday shortstop, one of the team’s biggest needs going into spring
training.

The agreement leaves only outfielder Gerardo Parra in arbitration with the Diamondbacks. Parra has asked for $2.7 million, the D-backs offering $2.1 million. Parra is among a glut of outfielders on the roster, with speculation centering on possible trades involving either left fielder Jason Kubel or right fielder Justin Upton, who reportedly has vetoed a deal to Seattle.

Last week, the Diamondbacks avoided arbitration with four players by reaching one-year contract agreements. Right-handed starter Ian Kennedy got $4,265,000, right-handed reliever Brad Ziegler $3,150,000, third baseman Chris Johnson $2,287,000 and left-handed reliever Tony Sipp $1,275,000.

Diamondbacks pitchers and catchers report to spring training in Scottsdale on Feb. 11. Position players report on Feb. 14.