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Angels sign David Freese and Kevin Jepsen to avoid arbitration

BaseballMajor League BaseballDavid FreeseKevin JepsenLos Angeles AngelsSt. Louis Cardinals

The Angels avoided arbitration with new third baseman David Freese and returning reliever Kevin Jepsen on Friday, signing Freese for $5.05 million and Jepsen for $1.46 million.

Both players settled at the exact midpoints of the difference between the salary figures they and the team exchanged in mid-January. It appeared the case of Freese, acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals in the Peter Bourjos trade in November, might go to a hearing because the sides were $1.9 million apart, a considerable gap.

Freese, the National League championship series and World Series most valuable player in 2011 for the Cardinals, hit .262 with a .340 on-base percentage, .381 slugging percentage, nine home runs and 60 runs batted last season.

Jepsen went 1-3 with a 4.50 earned run average in 45 games and underwent a season-ending appendectomy in late August.

With the January signings of closer Ernesto Frieri ($3.8 million) and reliever Fernando Salas ($870,000), the Angels have come to terms with all four of their arbitration-eligible players this winter.

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