The Astros reached a contract agreement with left-handed pitcher J.A. Happ on Tuesday, coming to terms on a $2.35 million deal to avoid arbitration.

Happ, who earned $474,000 in 2011, was eligible for arbitration for the first time in his career following a rocky season in which he went 6-15 with a 5.35 ERA in 28 starts. Houston wasn't able to reach an agreement with infielder Jed Lowrie prior to Tuesday's deadline to exchange numbers.

"We want to get a fair deal for the club," Astros general manager Jeff Luhnow said."Sometimes that means negotiating a settlement ahead of time and avoiding having the hassle and the legal cost of having to prepare for a hearing. Certainly there comes a point which you say, 'We're far enough apart where it makes sense to take the risk.'