ANAHEIM, Calif. (AP) — Gold Glove shortstop Erick Aybar has signed a four-year, $35 million contract with the Los Angeles Angels, keeping him with his only major league club through 2016.

Aybar signed the deal Thursday, passing on the chance to try free agency this winter.

The switch-hitting leadoff man posted career highs of 10 homers, 59 RBIs and 30 stolen bases last season while winning his first Gold Glove.

Aybar says he considered waiting until the offseason, but the speedy Dominican veteran believes the Angels have always been fair to him since he signed with the organization as an undrafted free agent in 2002. He also relishes the chance to hit in front of Albert Pujols for at least five more years.

Aybar will get a $1 million signing bonus.


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