Mariners tender offers to free agents on 40-man roster

ryan.divish@thenewstribune.comDecember 1, 2012 

With the major league baseball deadline looming for teams to tender contracts to players on its 40-man rosters who had not been signed yet for 2013 season, the Seattle Mariners did a little roster maintenance Friday evening.

Seattle offered contracts to four players – catcher John Jaso, pitchers Shawn Kelley and Jason Vargas and shortstop Brendan Ryan – who all are eligible for salary arbitration.

The Mariners and the four players can either 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 home runs 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 .194 last season. He also earned multiple awards for his defensive play at shortstop.

It was a bit surprising the Mariners tendered a contract to Kelley. He made 47 appearances in three 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 thought to be a non-tender candidate.

The big decision will be with Vargas. The left-hander posted a 14-11 record with a 3.85 ERA. He made $4.85 million last season and would likely get a bump up to around $8 million if he goes to arbitration. He can be a free agent next season, and there is some thought that the Mariners may sign him to a multi-year deal. He finished the season as the No. 2 starter in the Seattle rotation behind Felix Hernandez.

Besides the tendered contracts, the Mariners agreed with reliever Josh Kinney on a major league contract, avoiding arbitration.

Kinney signed with the Mariners last season as a minor league free agent. He was called up the first week of July from Triple-A Tacoma and made 35 appearances, posting an 0-3 record with a 3.94 ERA.

Another 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 recently sent to the Mariners in a trade for outfielder Trayvon Robinson.

No details of contracts to either Kinney or Andino were made available. 253-597-8483 @RyanDivish

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