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12/13/09 1:50 AM EST

Pirates sign Cedeno, avoid arbitration

Shortstop agrees to one-year deal with Pittsburgh

The Pirates have avoided going to arbitration with projected starting shortstop Ronny Cedeno by coming to terms on a one-year deal worth $1.125 million, The Associated Press reported Friday.

Cedeno, 26, earned $822,500 last season, when he batted .208 with 10 homers and 38 RBIs in 105 games combined with the Pirates and Mariners. He took over as Pittsburgh's starting shortstop following a July 29 deal from Seattle and batted .258 in 46 games.

The Pirates signed Bobby Crosby to a one-year, $1 million contract Thursday, and the former American League Rookie of the Year Award winner is expected to vie with Cedeno for the starting shortstop job in Spring Training.

The Bucs are hoping that the competition will help Cedeno get past his occasional mental lapses in the field.

"I think anybody needs to be pushed a little bit here and there," manager John Russell said. "[Cedeno] showed people in Pittsburgh he can play short. He makes great plays. He can drive a ball and can do some very fun things. Then sometimes, you'll go, 'What was that?'

"I think even though he's played a while, I still don't think he's a veteran player. So, I think he falls into that mental lapse, concentration lapse on the field, and we just need to get him more concentrated and focused."

Cedeno spent the 2005-08 seasons with the Cubs and has batted .240 with 23 home runs and 126 RBIs in 434 career big league games.

Ed Eagle is a reporter and producer for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.