September 22, 2013; Anaheim, CA, USA; Seattle Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak (17) is congratulated by third baseman Kyle Seager (15) after hitting a two run home run in the sixth inning against the Los Angeles Angels at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. Mandatory Credit: Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Justin Smoak, Mariners Avoid Arbitration

The Seattle Mariners avoided arbitration with first baseman Justin Smoak on Saturday, by coming to terms on a one-year deal with a vesting option for 2015.

Smoak will receive $2.6375 million plus a $150K buyout on his $3.65 million option, which will become a team option if Smoak does not get at least 525 plate appearances this year.

The contract also contains certain escalators and the 2015 option vests if Smoak wins certain awards.

Smoak had filed for $3.25 million in arbitration while the Mariners countered at $2.025 million. The subject of trade rumors with the free agent signing of Corey Hart and trade for Logan Morrison, Smoak’s signing doesn’t necessarily signal a commitment to him or an end to possible trade options.

The Kansas City Royals recently signed Emilio Bonifacio to a one-year deal to avoid arbitration, later to designate him for assignment to make room for Bruce Chen.

I doubt the Mariners would DFA Justin Smoak, but I’m not convinced he will spend the entire 2014 season in Seattle.

Tags: Justin Smoak Seattle Mariners

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