First baseman Justin Smoak avoided an arbitration hearing Saturday by reaching agreement with the Mariners on a one-year deal that includes a club option for 2015. Financial terms were not disclosed, but Smoak sought $3.25 million, while the Mariners had countered at $2.025 million. The agreement extended the club’s streak of not engaging in an arbitration hearing since 2003 with pitcher Freddy Garcia. The Mariners previously reached agreement with two arbitration-eligible players: outfielder Michael Saunders and first baseman/outfielder Logan Morrison. Smoak, 27, batted .238 last season with a career-high 20 homers and 50 RBIs in 131 games. He faces increased competition this spring for playing time following the off-season acquisitions of Corey Hart and Morrison.
Smoak agrees to one-year deal
The News Tribune | Feb 15