Left-hander Jack Taschner and the San Francisco Giants agreed Tuesday to an $835,000, one-year contract that avoided salary arbitration.

Taschner was the only Giants player eligible for arbitration before agreeing to the deal. He went 3-2 with a 4.88 ERA in a career-high 67 games last season and made $400,500.

Despite being used frequently as a left-handed specialist during his four years in the majors, Taschner has struggled against left-handed hitters. Lefties have a .288 career average against him, compared to .247 for right-handers. Taschner posted a 2.04 ERA in 26 appearances against NL West opponents.

Howard seeks $18M: Ryan Howard proposed a salary as prodigious as one of his home runs.

The Philadelphia Phillies first baseman asked for $18 million in arbitration, the third-highest figure submitted since the process began in 1974.

Philadelphia offered $14 million to the 2006 NL MVP, who is not eligible for free agency until after the 2011 season. Howard had a major league-leading 48 homers and 146 RBI last year, helping the Phillies win their first World Series title since 1980. Before the season, he was awarded $10 million in arbitration rather than Philadelphia's $7 million offer.

Houston pitcher Roger Clemens set the record for highest request in arbitration at $22 million in 2005. Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter is second at $18.5 million in 2001.


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Milwaukee first baseman Prince Fielder had the second-highest request this year at $8 million and was offered $6 million by the Brewers, who renewed his contract last year for $670,000. He had 34 homers and 102 RBI as Milwaukee reached the playoffs for the first time since 1982, down from 50 homers and 119 RBI in 2007.

Colorado third baseman Garrett Atkins was third at $7.95 million. The Rockies offered $6.65 million after he had 21 homers and 99 RBI.

Forty-two players reached one-year agreements Tuesday just before the exchange. Among them: Seattle left-hander Erik Bedard ($7.75 million), Pittsburgh first baseman Adam LaRoche ($7.05 million), New York Yankees outfielder and former Cal star Xavier Nady ($6.55 million) and Boston closer Jonathan Papelbon ($6.25 million).

While 111 players filed for arbitration last Thursday, just 46 exchanged figures with their teams. That group included Baltimore right fielder Nick Markakis, who has a tentative agreement on a $66 million, six-year deal.

Howard's $4 million gap was the largest among players who exchanged figures with their teams.

For cases that don't settle, hearings will be scheduled for the first 21 days of February. Just eight of 110 players who filed last year went to hearings, and clubs won six. The average increase for those who filed last year was 120 percent.

Mariners: Former Giants reliever and first-round draft pick David Aardsma was acquired from Boston for minor league lefty Fabian Williamson.

Phillies: A preliminary agreement was reached with reliever Ryan Madson, who played a key role in a strong bullpen on the World Series championship club, on a $12 million, three-year contract.

Dodgers: Former A's prospect, outfielder Andre Ethier is the only player remaining in arbitration. He asked for $3.75 million and was offered $2.65 million after hitting .305 with 20 home runs and 77 RBI.

Diamondbacks: The only player remaining in arbitration is first baseman-outfielder and former Cal star Conor Jackson, who asked for $3.65 million and was offered $2.45 million.

Marlins: All-Star second baseman Dan Uggla did not reach an agreement and asked for $5.35 million in arbitration. The team offered $4.4 million. Uggla hit .260 with 32 home runs and 92 RBI.

Tigers: Right-hander Justin Verlander swapped proposed figures with the team in salary arbitration. Verlander, 11-7 with a 4.84 ERA, asked for a raise from $1.13 million to $4.15 million while Detroit offered $3.2 million.