The Mariners avoid arbitration with center fielder Leonys Martin, agreeing to a one-year, $4.15 million contract for the 2016 season.
The Seattle Mariners avoided arbitration with projected starting center fielder Leonys Martin on Thursday. The sides agreed to a one-year, $4.15 million agreement for the 2016 season.
The total is a little higher expected. Arbitration calculators put Martin making around $3.75 million for this season.
That leaves two arbitration-eligible Mariners players — pitchers Charlie Furbush and Evan Scribner — that are unsigned.
The Mariners acquired Martin from the Texas Rangers this offseason to be their everyday center fielder. They traded reliever Tom Wilhelmsen, outfielder James Jones and infielder Patrick Kivlehan for Martin and right-handed pitcher Anthony Bass. Seattle recently waived Bass to allow him to pitch in Japan.
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Martin, 27, is coming off a down season in which he hit .219 (69 for 288) with 12 doubles, five homers, 25 RBI and 14 stolen bases in 95 games with the Rangers. His struggles led him to being sent down to Class AAA Round Rock. He suffered a hamate fracture in his right hand while with Round Rock and underwent surgery Aug. 26 to remove the bone. He appeared in one major-league game following the surgery.
The Mariners acquired Martin because of his defensive ability in center. He has saved 44 runs per the Defensive Runs Saved metric over the past three seasons, fourth-best among MLB center fielders.
He also has 81 stolen bases the past three seasons and is a career .255 hitter with a .305 on-base percentage over five big league seasons.