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Matt Holliday among 79 players filing for free agency
NEW YORK -- Pitcher John Lackey and outfielder Matt Holliday were among 79 players who filed for free agency Thursday, the first possible day.
Outfielder Jason Bay, first baseman Carlos Delgado, pitcher John Smoltz and reliever Billy Wagner also filed as did pitcher Jon Garland after the Los Angeles Dodgers declined his $10 million option. He will receive a $2.5 million buyout.
Instead of becoming a free agent again, outfielder Bobby Abreu agreed to a $19 million, two-year contract to stay with the Angels.
"I really feel happy here with Los Angeles," Abreu said. "I really enjoy to play for them, and I think when they started with the conversation for the contract and we didn't have any problems back and forth, it was a nice negotiation. It was no problem to stay and come back with the Angels."
Abreu hit .293 with 15 homers, 103 RBIs, 30 steals and 94 walks as Los Angeles won the AL West and advanced to the AL championship series.
Approximately 100 more players are potentially eligible to file by the Nov. 19 deadline.
Mark Kotsay agreed to a $1.5 million contract to remain with the Chicago White Sox rather than become eligible for free agency. The 33-year-old infielder and outfielder hit .278 with four homers and 23 RBIs in 67 games combined with Boston and the White Sox.
Colorado agreed to an $850,000, one-year contract with right-hander Matt Belisle and a $650,000, one-year deal with left-hander Randy Flores.
Also filing for free agency were Arizona infielder Chad Tracy and Florida first baseman-outfielder Ross Gload. Tracy's $7 million option was declined by Diamondbacks, and he will receive a $1 million buyout.
The Marlins declined a $2.6 million option on Gload and traded outfielder Jeremy Hermida to Boston for left-handers Hunter Jones and Jose Alvarez.
Hermida was the 11th overall pick in the 2002 amateur draft but has yet to fulfill his projected potential. He was among Florida's best-paid players this year at $2.25 million but hit only .259 with 13 homers and 47 RBIs in 129 games.
"When you acquire a player, sometimes you acquire them because you think there's a chance that with a change of scenery they'll reach their potential," Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein said. "Things never really came together for him in the big leagues. That's not uncommon for young players. He's about to turn 26, coming into his prime."