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Astros mum on potential arbitration offers

Astros mum on potential arbitration offers

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HOUSTON -- Astros general manager Ed Wade said Friday his club has already made decisions on whether to offer contracts to its eight arbitration-eligible players, but he won't reveal those decisions until some point Saturday.

Teams have until 10:59 p.m. CT to offer arbitration to players who have at least three years of service time but aren't eligible for free agency. The key players in that category are outfielders Michael Bourn and Hunter Pence and left-hander Wandy Rodriguez, all of whom will likely be offered arbitration and are in line for nice raises.

The others that are eligible are relief pitchers Matt Lindstrom, Tim Byrdak and Chris Sampson, infielder Jeff Keppinger and catcher Humberto Quintero. Unlike last year, when Houston non-tendered third baseman Ty Wigginton in an effort to trim payroll, it's unlikely it would non-tender any of those players.

All five will play a key role for Houston and new manager Brad Mills in 2010 and will come relatively cheaply.

"We've made our decisions, but we're not going to telegraph them," Wade said. "We're going to go through the process and where we are at the end of it. We'll take a long look at names that become available. If we see ways to improve the team, we'll pursue them."

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

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