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Rockies, Atkins Avoid Arbitration, Too

The Colorado Rockies took care of their most weighty arbitration concern, agreeing to a one-year deal with third baseman Garrett Atkins worth $7.05 million.

The Denver Post's Troy E. Renck broke the deal, which also includes an interesting incentive proviso: the third baseman can earn an additional $125,000 if he reaches the 700 plate appearance threshold.

If Atkins does hit that incentive, he'll earn $7.175 million, which is almost dead even between the $7.9 million figure he submitted and the $6.65 Colorado offered to pay him. Still, it seems like Atkins came out better than Verlander, doesn't it?

It's also worth noting that the deal makes Atkins Colorado's second highest-paid player, behind first baseman Todd Helton. What does that mean? Knowing how the Rockies feel about future big ticket free agents (see under Holliday, Matt), Atkins could be an attractive trade option at the deadline, assuming the Rockies are out of the running. Or maybe the slugger could replace Helton is he and his salary are finally sent on their way. After all, Atkins can be close to first base power -- he hit 21 homers with 99 RBIs in 2008 -- and he's filled in for Helton there in the past.

By Cameron Smith  |  February 3, 2009; 7:37 PM ET
Categories:  Rockies  
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