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Smoak, Mariners Avoid Arbitration

PEORIA, Ariz. (AP) — Justin Smoak and the Seattle Mariners have avoided arbitration by agreeing on a contract that guarantees the first baseman $2,787,500 and could be worth up to $8,287,500 over two years.

Smoak will earn $2,637,500 this season under Saturday’s agreement, and Seattle has a $3.65 million option for 2015 with a $150,000 buyout. The deal contains several bonuses and escalators. He was Seattle’s last player in arbitration.

With the moves to acquire Corey Hart and Logan Morrison in the offseason, Smoak’s time at first base could be significantly reduced if he isn’t a consistent performer at the plate.

Smoak, 27, hit a career-high 20 homers last season but batted just .238. He improved after a stint on the disabled list in June, raising his average to .274 in early August before a swoon over the final six weeks of the season.

Smoak ranked fifth among AL first basemen with a .995 fielding percentage.

His option price could escalate based on 2014 performance and awards: $100,000 for 500 plate appearances, $250,000 for 525 plate appearances, $250,00 for finishing among the top 15 in MVP voting, $200,000 for All-Star election or selection, $150,000 for Silver Slugger and $50,000 for Gold Glove. In addition, he could earn all of those amounts as 2014 bonuses.

The option would become guaranteed if he has 525 plate appearances or meets the MVP, All-Star or Silver Slugger targets.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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