Cubs, Soto find way around arbitration

Catcher Geovany Soto has agreed to a $3 million, one-year deal

with the Chicago Cubs, avoiding arbitration.

Soto, the 2008 NL Rookie of the Year, batted .280 with 17 homers

and 53 RBIs in 105 games last season when his salary was $575,000.

He had his season cut short when he underwent surgery on his right

shoulder in September.

The 28-year-old Soto spent most of his first seven seasons in

the minors before becoming a regular in 2008, when he batted .285

with 23 homers and 86 RBIs and started the All-Star game. He

slumped badly in 2009, batting just .218, before returning to form

last season.