Shortstop Jason Bartlett signed a 2-year contract with the Padres on Monday. (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
Bartlett agreed to a two-year deal worth a reported $11 million. There's also a vesting option for 2013 that could raise the total to $15 million. Bartlett would have been eligible for arbitration, but General Manager Jed Hoyer wanted to avoid that scenario.
Bartlett joins new 2nd baseman Orlando Hudson (also signed for two years) to form what may turn into the best double play combination in baseball. The 31-year-old Bartlett is a career .281 hitter who won't hit many home runs, but is a tough out and likes to spray the ball around the field. That kind of approach is perfect for the big alleys at PETCO Park.
The Padres still have five players who are eligible for arbitration: starting pitcher Tim Stauffer, relievers Heath Bell and Mike Adams, 3rd baseman Chase Headley and Outfielder Ryan Ludwick. The deadline for signing those players and avoiding arbitration is January 15th. Hoyer has said he wants to reach agreements with all five guys before the deadline.