— The Mariners avoided arbitration with veteran catcher Jesus Sucre by reaching agreement Monday on a one-year deal for $630,000.
The deal includes a sweetener.
Sucre, 28, will make $300,000 if he clears waivers and is assigned to the minor leagues. That’s a key component because the Mariners see Sucre as an insurance policy for Mike Zunino and Carlos Ruiz.
The likely scenario is — assuming Zunino and Ruiz remain healthy — the Mariners will seek to slip Sucre through waivers at the end of spring training. The hefty minor-league salary could depress interest.
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Sucre was 12-for-25 last season in nine big-league games, but he has a .209 average in 90 games while spending parts of the last four seasons with the Mariners.
Bergman, 28, was 7-9 with a 5.79 ERA in 55 games, including 15 starts, over parts of the last three seasons at Colorado. A seven-year pro, he was also 3-3 last season with a 3.66 ERA in 10 starts at Triple-A Albuquerque.
Valle, 26, is a 10-year professional who batted .202 last season with four homers and 18 RBIs in 68 games at Double-A Trenton in the New York Yankees’ system. He has a .253 career average with 74 homers and 387 RBIs in 821 games.
WORLD BASEBALL CLASSIC
Three Mariners were among the initial list of 30 major-league players confirmed Monday to play next year in the World Baseball Classic.
Second baseman Robinson Cano and outfielder/designated hitter Nelson Cruz will play for the Dominican Republic, while right-handed pitcher Felix Hernandez will play for Venezuela.
Each country must submit a proposed final roster by Feb. 6. The 16-team tournament runs March 6-22. The championship game is March 22 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles.
Outfielder Tyler O’Neill was picked to the all-prospects team in the Arizona Fall League in balloting by the managers and coaches.
O’Neill, 21, batted .292 with three homers and 14 RBIs in 19 games for the Peoria Javelinas.
The Mariners previously cited O’Neill as their minor-league hitter of the year after he batted .293 with 24 homers and 102 RBIs in 130 games at Double-A Jackson. He is likely to start next season at Triple-A Tacoma.
Former Mariners reliever Joaquin Benoit agreed to a one-year deal with Philadelphia for $7.5 million…Mike Candela, the general manager at now-defunct Bakersfield, was honored as the executive of the year in the Hi-A California League. The Mariners switched their Hi-A affiliation to Modesto after Bakersfield folded.
Bob Dutton: @TNT_Mariners