Mariners avoid arbitration with Kendrys Morales, Brendan Ryan
The Mariners signed Kendrys Morales to a one-year, $5.25 million deal and Brendan Ryan to a one-year, $3.25 million contract. The only remaining arbitration-eligible player for the Mariners is reliever Shawn Kelley.
Seattle Times staff reporter
Shawn Kelley emerged as the Mariners' only remaining arbitration-eligible player after the club reached agreement Friday with shortstop Brendan Ryan and recently acquired first baseman Kendrys Morales on one-year contracts.
Morales received $5.25 million, plus performance bonuses, according to CBS Sports, while Ryan will make $3.25 million. Ryan earned $1.75 million last year, when he hit just .194 but was rated the top defensive shortstop in the majors in some metrics. The Angels paid Morales $2.975 million in 2012, when he hit .273 with 22 homers and 73 runs batted in.
Teams and players exchanged arbitration salary figures Friday, leading to a rash of signings around the majors. Once the figures are exchanged, the sides often negotiate a settlement somewhere near the midpoint. According to CBS, Kelley filed at $1.2 million, while the Mariners submitted $750,000. That's a $450,000 difference, which would put $975,000 as the midpoint. Kelley earned $600,000 last year, a season in which he had a 3.25 earned-run average in 47 games.
The Mariners can keep negotiating with Kelley until the arbitration hearing in February. The Mariners haven't had a player go through with an arbitration hearing — where a three-person panel picks either the player or the team offer — since Freddy Garcia in 2003.
Two arbitration-eligible players have been traded this winter — John Jaso to Oakland and Jason Vargas to the Angels. And shortstop Robert Andino was non-tendered in early December, then immediately signed to a one-year contract.
In 2003, the panel ruled in favor of Garcia, who requested $6.875 million while the Mariners offered $5.9 million. Outfielder Brian Hunter went to arbitration in 2000 and also beat the club. The arbitrator ruled for Hunter's salary figure of $2.45 million over the Mariners' $1.75 million offer — but they released Hunter in spring training and were required to pay him only $593,290
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