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Royals, Ibañez avoid arbitration
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02/13/2003 5:20 pm ET 
Royals, Ibañez avoid arbitration
KC outfielder put together career season in 2002
By Robert Falkoff / MLB.com

  Raul Ibanez   /   DH
Height: 6'2"
Weight: 200
Bats/Throws: L/R

More info:
Stats
Splits
Hit chart
seattlemariners.com

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Raul Ibañez is coming off a breakout year and now he has a breakout contract to go with it.

The Royals and Ibañez avoided salary arbitration Thursday by reaching agreement on a one-year deal worth $3 million.

Ibañez had been scheduled for a Feb. 19 hearing but now that won't be necessary.

He had initially asked for $3.4 million and the Royals offered $2.75 million, meaning he was assured after the arbitration filing period of more than tripling last year's $800,000 salary.

Ibañez, 30, earned his hefty raise after hitting .294 with 24 home runs and 103 RBIs in 2002.

"Raul had a tremendous year for us," said Royals assistant GM Muzzy Jackson, who worked out the agreement with Michael Maas, the agent for Ibañez. "He's a very important part of our club."

Ibañez received the Joe Burke Special Achievement Award for his 2002 accomplishments. He is expected to play left field on a regular basis this season.

Robert Falkoff is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.





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