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Phillies and Cesar Hernandez agree on a contract

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The Phils avoided arbitration with their young second baseman.

MLB: Pittsburgh Pirates at Philadelphia Phillies Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

Anything to stay out of the courtroom.

The Phillies and Cesar Hernandez have agreed on a contract for 2017 that will pay the young second baseman $2.55 million, slightly more than the $2.4 million that would have been the middle ground between the Phils’ offer of $2 million and Hernandez’ counter of $2.8 million.

Hernandez had his best year as a pro last season when he batted .294/.371/.393 with 17 stolen bases and a career-high walk rate of 10.6%, up from 8.8% the year before. He played 155 games, accumulated 622 PAs, and led the league in triples (11), bunt hits (15) and infield hits (36).

His on-base percentage of .371 was 22nd-best in baseball, and since the beginning of the 2015 season (1074 PAs), he’s batting .285/.358/.374. Cesar Hernandez put up an fWAR of 4.4 and an rAWR of 3.3.

However, there are drawbacks concerning Hernandez. He stole only 17 bases and was thrown out 13 times last year, second-most in baseball. He was the first Major Leaguer since 2005 to be caught stealing at least 13 times in 30 or fewer attempts. There were also a number of other baserunning and fielding gaffes that frustrated the Phillies last season.

This was Hernandez’ first year in which he was eligible for salary arbitration. He qualifies for Super-Two status, which gives him four years of arbitration, as opposed to the three that is standard.

With the addition of Hernandez at $2.55 million, the Opening Day payroll for 2017 currently stands at around $79 million for 11 players. The remaining 13 players will either be filled by pre-arbitration players who are making $535,000, the league minimum, or players currently signed to minor league deals.