With the major league baseball deadline looming for teams to tender (offer) contracts to players on their 40-man roster, who had not already been signed for 2013 season, the Seattle Mariners did a little roster maintenance on Friday evening.
Seattle tendered contracts to four players – catcher John Jaso, pitchers Shawn Kelley and Jason Vargas and shortstop Brendan Ryan – who were all arbitration eligible for the upcoming season. The Mariners now can and the four players can agree on a contract for the upcoming season, or the players can wait for arbitration, where their salary is determined by a third party.
Most of those contracts will be determined in the days leading up to spring training.
Jaso hit .276 with 19 doubles, 10 homers and 50 RBI with an .850 on-base plus slugging percentage. He made just under $500,000 last season.
Ryan, who made $1.75 million hit just .194 last season, but earned multiple awards for his defensive play at shortstop.
It was bit surprising the Mariners tendered a contract to Kelley. He made 47 appearances in three different stints with the Mariners, posting a 3.25 ERA. But because of the depth of hard-throwing relievers in the organization and since Kelley made $600,000 last season, he was a non-tender candidate.
The big decision will be with Vargas. The lefty posted a 14-11 record with a 3.85 ERA with 22 quality starts. He made $4.85 million last season and would likely get a bump up to seven or eight million if he went to arbitration. He will also be a free agent next season. There is some thought that the Mariners may sign him to a multi-year deal to keep him in the organization. At this point, he is the No. 2 starter in the Mariners rotation behind Felix Hernandez.
Besides the tendered contracts, the Mariners agreed to reliever Josh Kinney on a major league contract for the upcoming season, avoiding arbitration.
Kinney signed with the Mariners last season as a minor league free agent last season. He was called up the first week of July from Triple A Tacoma and made 35 appearances, posting a 0-3 record with a 3.94 ERA.
The other roster move involved the recently acquired Robert Andino. The infielder was non-tendered at the deadline, making him a free agent for about 13 minutes. The Mariners then announced that Andino agreed to a contract for the 2013 season. Andino was are recently sent to the Mariners in a trade for outfielder Trayvon Robinson.
No details of either Kinney or Andino’s contract were made available.