Dodgers Give Gagné a Two Year Contract

Former Cy Young Award winner Eric Gagné avoided salary arbitration hearing with the Los Angeles Dodgers, agreeing to a $19 million, two-year contract. Gagné and the Dodgers agreed to the deal just before they were scheduled to exchange figures in salary arbitration. He remains eligible to become a free agent after the 2006 season.

Gagné, 29, is guaranteed $19 million and would make $30 million if the 2007 option for $12 million is exercised. He will get $8 million this season, $10 million in 2006 and a $1-million buyout if he and the Dodgers part ways after two years.

Starter Brad Penny is the only player who has not reached agreement, and DePodesta expressed hope that a deal can be reached before a hearing.

A year ago, Gagné was awarded $5 million by a panel of three arbitrators rather than his $8 million request. The right-hander won the NL Cy Young Award in 2003.

Gagné had a 7-3 record with a 2.19 ERA last season. He had 45 saves in 70 games, struck out 114 and walked 22 and pitched three innings in two games of the NL division series.