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Twins, Schafer agree to terms on 1-year deal

Club, center fielder avoid arbitration hearing by meeting in middle

MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins made a roster announcement on the first day of TwinsFest on Friday, as they agreed to terms with outfielder Jordan Schafer on a one-year deal worth $1.55 million to avoid arbitration.

After the Twins couldn't come to an agreement with Schafer before the Jan. 16 deadline, Schafer filed for $1.7 million and the Twins offered $1.3 million. So the two sides settled at the midpoint.

"I'm very happy," Schafer said. "I'm really excited to be a part of this organization. They gave me an unbelievable opportunity to come here last year and I'm grateful they wanted me to come back. I'm glad it's out of the way now."

Schafer, 28, hit .285/.345/.362 in 41 games with the Twins last season after being selected off waivers from the Braves on Aug. 3. He'll head to Spring Training competing for the starting center-field job along with Aaron Hicks and said he got an early start on baseball activities roughly two months ago.

"It's no secret I want to play every day," Schafer said. "But whatever [manager Paul] Molitor wants me to do to help make the team successful, I'm more than happy to do it. So we'll see how it goes in Spring Training."

With Schafer's deal, the Twins have agreed to terms with five of their six arbitration-eligible players, leaving left-handed reliever Brian Duensing as the only one unsigned.

Duensing filed for $3.1 million in arbitration, and the Twins offered $2.4 million. He remains hopeful something will be worked out before a hearing in February. The Twins haven't gone to an arbitration hearing since 2006 with Kyle Lohse.

"Hopefully, we get it figured out before then," Duensing said. "But that's why the system is set up the way it is, for situations like this. But hopefully we can get something figured out."

Rhett Bollinger is a reporter for Read his blog, Bollinger Beat, and follow him on Twitter @RhettBollinger.
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