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Pirates reach deals with RHPs Karstens, Meek

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PITTSBURGH (AP)

Jeff Karstens and the Pittsburgh Pirates have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a $3.1 million, one-year contract.

The 29-year-old right-hander went 9-9 with a 3.38 ERA in 2011, posting career highs in wins, strikeouts (72) and innings (162 1-3). The deal Tuesday gives him a raise from $1.15 million.

Karstens was among the league leaders in ERA into August before tailing off toward the end of the season, losing four of his last five decisions while having several starts skipped due to fatigue.

The Pirates also reached an agreement with right-handed reliever Evan Meek. The deal will pay Meek $875,000, a significant bump from the $461,500 he made in 2011. Meek was All-Star in 2010 but was limited by injuries last season, going 1-1 with a 3.48 ERA in 24 appearances.

In another move, Pittsburgh agreed to a minor league contract with left-hander Doug Slaten and invited him to spring training. Slaten, who turns 32 next month, was 0-2 with a 4.41 ERA in 31 relief appearances for Washington last season. He missed nearly three months with an elbow injury before returning in September.

Tagged: Pirates, Evan Meek

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