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Bruney, Yankees forgo arbitration

Bruney, Yankees forgo arbitration

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WASHINGTON -- Right-handed reliever Brian Bruney agreed to a one-year, $725,000 contract with the Yankees on Tuesday, avoiding salary arbitration.

Bruney, who turns 26 on Feb. 17, asked for $845,000 in arbitration, while the Yankees offered $640,000.

Bruney was 3-2 with a 4.68 ERA in 58 appearances across two stints with the Yankees in 2007, making the Opening Day roster after a strong finish to his 2006 campaign -- that season, Bruney recorded an 0.87 ERA in 19 appearances with New York and struck out four of the eight batters he faced in the American League Division Series.

But Bruney was unable to replicate those same stellar numbers last season, especially against left-handed batters, who hit .303 (20-for-66) against him. The splits were striking, as righties batted .209, but Bruney was still sent down to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre on Aug. 7, when the club promoted fireballer Joba Chamberlain. In 50 innings, Bruney allowed 44 hits, walking 37 and striking out 39.

Bruney was surprised in the last week of the regular season when, instead of being added to the playoff roster or an emergency taxi squad, he was simply instructed to return home. He made $395,545 last season and figures to be a contender for New York's wide-open bullpen picture in Spring Training.

The Yankees also have a preliminary agreement with second baseman Robinson Cano on a four-year, $30 million contract that will be finalized pending review of physicals taken last week in New York. That contract could be worth as much as $57 million for Cano through 2013 with the addition of two lucrative option years.

New York's final remaining player in arbitration is right-hander Chien-Ming Wang, with the club and player separated by only $600,000 in their figure exchanges. Wang, who will be 28 on Opening Day, requested $4.6 million and was offered $4 million.

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

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