Kirby Puckett, one of four players who filed for salary arbitration at $2 million or more, agreed to a 1989 contract calling for $2 million in salary and $200,000 in award bonuses.
Puckett, who made $1.21 million in salary and award bonuses last year when he batted .356 with 24 home runs and 121 runs batted in, had submitted an arbitration figure of $2,150,000, compared with the Minnesota Twins' offer of $1.9 million.The agreement allows the 27-year-old center fielder to reach $2 million in salary faster than any player in major league history. Puckett has four years and 147 days of major league service. Don Mattingly of the New York Yankees had four years and 163 days last winter when he agreed to a three-year, $6.7 million deal that paid him $2 million in 1988.
Puckett's 1988 batting average, second in the American League to Wade Boggs' .366, was the highest for a right-handed hitter since Joe DiMaggio batted .357 in 1941, and he won a Gold Glove for the third straight year. His agent, Ron Shapiro, said that negotiations involving a multiyear contract were continuing with the Twins.