Chacon bypasses arbitration, signs

The potential starter will be paid 3.825 million in 2007.
PITTSBURGH (AP) -- Right-hander Shawn Chacon, the leading contender for the final spot in the Pittsburgh Pirates' rotation, bypassed salary arbitration Friday by agreeing to a one-year contract worth 3,825,000.
Chacon, who split last season between the Yankees and Pirates, filed for 4.25 million in arbitration and the Pirates offered 3.7 million.
Chacon can make up to 225,000 in performance bonuses: 50,000 each for 160 and 180 innings and 125,000 for 200 innings.
While Pirates general manager Dave Littlefield continues to seek another right-hander to add to a predominantly left-handed staff, the 29-year-old Chacon is expected to go into spring training as the No. 5 starter.
So far
Chacon was a combined 7-6 with a 6.36 ERA with the Yankees and Pirates last season, going 2-3 with a 5.48 ERA in nine starts for Pittsburgh. He gave up two earned runs or fewer in five of the nine starts, but allowed 22 earned runs in 17 1-3 innings -- an 11.42 ERA -- in the other four.
Chacon has a 38-54 record in six major league seasons, the first four with Colorado.
The one-time All-Star was 7-3 with a 2.85 ERA in 14 games after being deal to the Yankees in 2005, but lost his spot in their rotation last season.
Pittsburgh acquired Chacon from the Yankees on July 31 for outfielder-first baseman Craig Wilson, who agreed Thursday to a 2 million, one-year contract with the Braves.
Trade finalized
Pirates reliever Mike Gonzalez also joined the Braves on Friday after Atlanta finalized its four-player trade that sent first baseman Adam La Roche to Pittsburgh.
Outfielder Jamie Romak also was sent to the Pirates and shortstop Brent Lillibridge to the Braves.
Gonzalez, a 28-year-old left-hander, was 3-4 with a 2.17 ERA and was 24 for 24 in save chances, but he didn't pitch after Aug. 24 because of elbow tendinitis. Salomon Torres took over as the closer and had 12 saves.
"Mike has established himself as one of the top relief pitchers in baseball," Braves general manager John Schuerholz said. "We believe that his addition to our club has strengthened our bullpen -- especially in the late innings."
Gonzalez is expected to serve as a setup man for closer Bob Wickman.
The 27-year-old LaRoche hit .285 with 32 homers and 90 RBIs.
Lillibridge, 23, hit .305 with 13 homers, 71 RBIs and 51 stolen bases at Class A last season. Romak, 21, hit .247 with 26 doubles, 16 homers and 68 RBIs at Class A.
Copyright 2007 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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