Mariners, Martin Avoid Arbitration With 4.85 Million Dollar Contract


The Mariners and Leonys Martin narrowly beat out the 11 am arbitration deadline today with a deal that is worth 4.85 million dollars.

Following in the footsteps of Jean Segura, the Mariners have locked up their centerfielder, Leonys Martin for next year at a very fair price.

The 28-year-old Cuban-born Martin will be cashing in his largest annual paycheck to date, surpassing his previous highest salary of 4.75 million dollars from 2015 when he was with the Mariners division rival, the Texas Rangers.

By many accounts, Martin put up better numbers than the 2014 season that earned him that contract in his first year of arbitration.

In 2016 he had more walks drawn, more RBI’s and more home runs, despite his batting average being about .30 lower than in ’14.

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Martin also set career-highs in 2016 for runs scored and total bases with 72 and 196 respectively. But aside from his impressive statistical year, Martin was also one of the Mariners top fielders, part of the reason he was a fan favorite at Safeco Field.

Martin had a fielding percentage of .992 because he only committed three errors on 367 chances. Martin made sure he always got to the ball, no matter how messy it made his jersey or how much pain he would have to endure.

The countless acrobatic diving and leaping catches he made always induced ohs and ahs from the patrons at the ballpark, most likely from the away crowd as well.

Many fans will remember his Griffeyesque home run robbery of Ian Desmond in a heated late August affair between the Mariners and his former team.

Martin raced all the way to the wall nearly at full speed, lunging towards the ball with one leg partially dug into the padding for leverage as he reached up and over the wall to bring the ball back into the park.

The Mariners would go on to lose the game 6-3, but that effort by Martin took the cake as the defensive play of the game.

And no one can forget when Martin sacrificed his body to give the Mariners a win back in late April.

With a Kansas City Royals runner at second with two outs in the bottom on the ninth, Martin chased down a ball that was headed for the top of the outfield wall, and surely would have brought in the tying run.

Instead, Martin leaped with so much force into the wall as he grabbed the ball in his glove, that he stumbled backward and fell to the ground where he needed a couple seconds to regain his composure.

It was plays like that, his offensive showing, and his sunny, outgoing disposition that made him a fan favorite as well as a productive member of the Mariners.

Next: Mariners, Segura Avoid Arbitration

It is for all of those reasons why his 4.85 million dollar deal is worth it. Hopefully, he will continue to amaze Mariners fans with his all-around play in 2017.