The Padres avoided arbitration with Jason Bartlett and agreed to sign him to a two-year deal, the team announced. The sides agreed to an $11MM deal, according to MLB.com's Corey Brock and Bernie Wilson of the AP has the details on the LSW Baseball client (Twitter links). Bartlett earns $4MM in 2011, $5.5MM in 2012 and either $5.5MM or a $1.5MM buyout in 2013.
The agreement buys out Bartlett's final season as an arbitration eligible player and one free agent year. The shortstop, who arrived in San Diego in a December trade, earned $4MM last year and was due for a raise in 2011. Orlando Hudson signed in San Diego as a free agent for comparable money; he and Bartlett will man the middle of the Padres infield for the next two seasons.
After a 2009 season in which he made the All-Star team and batted .320/.389/.490, Bartlett slumped to .254/.324/.350 last year. The 31-year-old has stolen ten bases or more for five consecutive seasons and has a .281/.345/.385 line in parts of seven campaigns with the Twins and Rays. Bartlett was originally selected by the Padres in the 13th round of the 2001 Draft and signed by current Padres amateur scout Lane Decker.