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Tampa Bay Rays, J.P. Howell Avoid Arbitration

According to Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times, the Tampa Bay Rays and left-handed reliever J.P. Howell have successfully come to an agreement on a one-year deal for 2012, therefore avoiding salary arbitration.

The 28-year-old will earn $1.35 million guaranteed in 2012, and Topkin reports he'll have a chance at another $500K through performance bonuses. The southpaw made $1.1 million in 2011 and can potentially earn a $300K raise.

Howell, 28, posted a 6.16 ERA across 30.2 innings of work out of the bullpen. However, a 1.44 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 2011 was the lowest of his career since his rookie season.

  • Twitter / @TBTimes_Rays: Howell close to deal for $1.35M: LHP J.P. Howell and the Rays are finalizing a one-year deal for $1.35-million t... http://bit.ly/yPcfFV
  • Twitter / @TBTimes_Rays: #Rays Howell gets $1.35M salary, w/ IP incentives can get to $1.4M; made $1.1M in '12. Howell: "I'm extremely pleased'" to have deal done.