SEATTLE – The Mariners avoided arbitration after reaching agreements Friday with outfielders Mitch Haniger and Mallex Smith and pitcher Sam Tuivailala on contracts for the upcoming season.
The three were Seattle’s only arbitration-eligible players. Haniger agreed to $3.01 million, Smith $2.35 million and Tuivailala $800,000.
Haniger was the most notable of the three. He missed the final 3 1/2 months last season after rupturing a testicle and then having back issues during his recovery. Haniger was limited to 63 games and batted .220 with 15 homers and 32 RBIs. A year earlier, Haniger was an All-Star after hitting .285 with 26 homers and 93 RBIs and an OPS of .859.
Smith slumped last season after a breakout year in 2018. He hit just .227 with a .300 on-base percentage and struck out a career-high 141 times. The upside with Smith was his speed on the bases as he led the majors with 42 stolen bases.
Tuivailala missed the first half of last season while recovering from a torn Achilles tendon suffered late in the 2018 season. When he did return, Tuivailala was solid out of the bullpen with a 2.35 ERA in 23 appearances. He had 14 straight appearances without allowing a run at one point.
All three were eligible for arbitration for the first time. Hanigar had a major league salary of $590,100 last season, Smith $578,400 and Tuivailala $568,600.
Seattle also claimed utilityman Sam Haggerty off waivers from the New York Mets. Haggerty made his major league debut last September but spent most of the year in Double-A.
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