Shortstop Shawon Dunston and the Chicago Cubs are happy for now, and they hope they'll be even happier in the fall.
Since they couldn't agree to a long-term deal now, they settled Friday on a one-year contract worth $2.1 million.Dunston, 27, made the National League All-Star team for the second time in 1990, batting .262 with 17 homers and 66 RBIs. He made $1.25 million after winning a salary arbitration hearing and wanted to get a multiyear contract. He is eligible for free agency following the World Series.
"It was dollars and the fact that the Cubs wouldn't give us a limited no- trade," Dunston's agent, Eric Goldschmidt, said in explaining the problem with a long-term contract. "I didn't want to give up Shawon's free agency without some trade protection."
Five other players agreed to one-year contracts on Friday, reducing the players eligible for arbitration to 169.
First baseman Dave Magadan, the National League's third-leading hitter, and the New York Mets settled on $1.25 million, more than triple his 1990 salary of $395,000.
Left-hander Bruce Ruffin and the Philadelphia Phillies agreed to $400,000, a $50,000 raise.
Right-hander Scott Terry and the St. Louis Cardinals settled on $350,000, a $35,000 cut, and left-hander Kevin Hickey and Baltimore agreed to $250,000, the same salary he made in 1990.
Third baseman Rick Schu and the California Angels agreed to a one-year contract worth $330,000, a raise of $155,000.
Magadan, 28, hit .328, the second-highest in Mets history. He had only three RBIs in the first two months of the season but finished with 72.
"I wanted for a chance to get it done early," Magadan said. "You never know what's going to happen in arbitration. We didn't want to take it down to the wire."
Ruffin, who separated his left shoulder when he fell off his tractor in November, will compete for the fifth spot in the starting rotation. He was 6-13 last year with a 5.38 ERA.
Terry, 31, was 2-6 with a 4.75 ERA in 48 relief appearances and two starts. He can get back to his 1990 income level if he earns the $85,000 in performance bonuses contained in the contract.
Hickey, who will be 35 next season, was 1-3 with a 5.13 ERA in 37 relief appearances and had one save.
Schu, 28, played in 61 games last season and batted .268 with six homers and 14 RBIs.