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Nick Hundley inks with Padres

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PEORIA, Ariz. (AP)

Catcher Nick Hundley and the San Diego Padres have agreed to a $9 million, three-year contract.

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The deal announced Tuesday includes the $2 million salary for this year that was agreed to in January. Hundley gets $3 million in 2013 and $4 million in 2014, and the Padres have a $5 million option for 2015.

''For them to make a commitment to me before (reaching my goals), I look at that as a huge sign from them that they want me here,'' Hundley said. ''I appreciate that a lot.''

Hundley hit .288 with nine homers and 29 RBIs in 82 games last season.

A second-round draft pick in the 2005 amateur draft, Hundley has hit .255 with 30 homers and 126 RBIs in 305 games in the majors.

General manager Josh Byrnes said the club views Hundley as an emerging leader.

''Sometimes these players go from young guys to players we think are leaders and hopefully he's ready to take that step,'' Byrnes said. ''Certainly with his personality and the position he plays, I think he has a chance to assume that role on our team. He's a good player. He continues to get better defensively and offensively.''

Padres manager Bud Black likes the way Hundley has evolved.

''He's at a spot where he can feel good about where his career is headed,'' Black said. ''He has checked off a lot of boxes. When he walks through the clubhouse doors, I think other players around him feel better.''

Tagged: Padres, Nick Hundley

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