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01/12/11 1:42 PM EST

Cubs avoid salary arbitration with Hill

Catcher signs one-year, $850,000 contract

CHICAGO -- The Cubs avoided arbitration with catcher Koyie Hill on Wednesday and signed him to a one-year, $850,000 contract.

"There are two things I dislike in the game of baseball, and one thing is contract negotiations," Hill said. "The other is to find a place to stay for Spring Training and the season."

Now, Hill has taken care of everything.

"In the bottom of my heart, I would probably scrape every penny I have to pay for a chance to do this," he said. "Contract negotiations is something that's part of the game, but I'm happy its over, I'm happy I'm a Cub and I'm happy the Cubs organization thinks enough of me to want to have me back."

Hill, 31, made 60 starts last season and batted .214 with 13 doubles, one triple, one homer and 17 RBIs. Since 2007, the team has an 84-72 record in games he has started.

In addition to signing Hill on Wednesday, the Cubs also agreed to a Minor League deal with outfielder Reed Johnson. The 34-year-old Johnson, who returns to the Cubs after a season with the Dodgers, will also get an invitation to Spring Training. Johnson hit .262 with two homers in 102 games for Los Angeles last season.

Catcher Geovany Soto and pitchers Matt Garza, Carlos Marmol, Sean Marshall and Tom Gorzelanny are the Cubs' remaining arbitration-eligible players.

Jeff Baker, 29, also was arbitration-eligible, but he renewed Dec. 2 on a $1.175 million contract.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.