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01/28/09 5:06 PM EST

Reds avoid arbitration with Weathers

Reliever signs one-year contract with club option for 2010

CINCINNATI -- The Reds avoided arbitration with David Weathers on Wednesday, when they signed the reliever to a one-year contract with a club option for 2010.

Weathers will earn $3.5 million this season and can make an additional $700,000 in incentives based on games finished. The option is worth $3.7 million and carries a $400,000 buyout.

Last season, Weathers made $2.7 million and became a free agent during the offseason. He was offered salary arbitration in December and accepted to guarantee his return.

"David has been a big part of our club for a few years," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. "Ownership and I felt it was important to get this resolved before arbitration and have David in camp on a positive note."

Third baseman Edwin Encarnacion remains Cincinnati's lone arbitration case pending.

Weathers, 39, was 4-6 with a 3.25 ERA in 72 relief appearances in 2008 -- his sixth straight season with at least 70 games pitched and 10th straight with at least 63 appearances. The right-hander let two of his 15 inherited runners score and he posted a 2.45 ERA over his final 36 appearances.

In 2007 as Cincinnati's closer, Weathers saved 33 games but went to a setup role last season after Francisco Cordero was signed.

Hot Stove
Weathers is expected to return to his setup role and work in the late innings along with right-hander Jared Burton and lefties Bill Bray and Arthur Rhodes.

It appears likely that the Reds will also be able to settle with Encarnacion before going to an arbitration hearing.

Encarnacion is seeking $3.7 million while the club offered $2.55 million.

"It's going," Jocketty said of the negotiations. "It could go down to the end but we're confident we'll get it done."

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