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01/28/05 6:28 PM ET

Rays sign Hall, Lugo

Minor leaguer Stokes signed to one-year deal

ST. PETERSBURG -- The Devil Rays avoided arbitration with two of their key players on Friday, agreeing to one-year contracts with catcher Toby Hall and shortstop Julio Lugo.

Hall, 29, signed for $1.95 million with $50,000 in incentives. He had been eligible for arbitration for the first time and had asked for $2.25 million while the team had offered $1.7 million.

"I'm pleased and am looking forward to the season," Hall said.

Hall hit .255 in 119 games in 2004 with eight home runs and a career-high 60 RBIs. In his four years with Tampa Bay, Hall's caught-stealing rate of 32.9 percent is 10th among the 49 active catchers.

Lugo, 29, was in his second year of arbitration eligibility. He signed for $3.25 million and with a club option worth $4.95 million for 2006, with a $100,000 buyout. Lugo had asked for $3.8 million while the Rays offered $3.1 million.

Lugo hit .275 with seven home runs and 75 RBIs for the Rays in 2004, leading the club with 41 doubles. Lugo also led the Rays with a .309 average with runners in scoring position and a .421 (8-for-19) average with the bases loaded.

Also on Friday, the Rays signed minor league pitcher Brian Stokes to a one-year contract.

The Rays also sent right-handed pitcher John Webb outright to Triple-A Durham with an invitation to Major League Spring Training. Webb was designated for assignment on Jan. 25, when the Rays signed right-handed pitcher Jeff Niemann and added him to the 40-man roster.

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