Mariners avoid arbitration with five eligible players, including James Paxton and Mike Zunino

Pitchers James Paxton, David Phelps, Nick Vincent and Eramso Ramirez along with catcher Mike Zunino have agreed to one-year contracts for the 2018 season.

The Mariners avoided arbitration hearings for their five remaining eligible players this offseason prior to Friday’s 10 a.m. deadline. Pitchers James Paxton, David Phelps, Nick Vincent and Erasmo Ramirez and catcher Mike Zunino all agreed to one-year contracts. Per club policy, the team did not disclose the contract figures.

However reports and sources have leaked some of the contract information.

Sources said that Paxton, who is in his second year of arbitration eligibility, will receive $4.9 million in 2018, an expected bump up from the $2.35 million he made in 2017. The big lefty posted a 12-5 record with a 2.98 ERA in 24 starts and was named the Mariners’ Pitcher of the Year by Seattle chapter of Baseball Writers Association of America. He set career bests in wins (12), starts (24), innings (136), strikeouts (156) and ERA (2.98), despite going the disabled list twice for a strained forearm in May and a strained pectoral muscle in August.

In his first year of arbitration eligibility, Zunino, 26, will make $2.975 million in 2018, which is a nice step up from the $570,000 he made in 2017. It was a breakout year for the Mariners’ catcher. He set career highs in runs scored (52), hits (97), doubles (25), home runs (25) and RBI (64). His 25 home runs were third most among MLB catchers, trailing only Gary Sanchez of the Yankees (33) and Salvador Perez of the Royals (27).

Phelps, 31, is in his fourth and final year of arbitration eligibility and will earn $5.5 million in 2018 and will be a free agent following the season.Phelps won his arbitration case against the Marlins last season and was awarded a $4.6 million salary in 2017.  After being acquired by the Mariners, Phelps posted a 2-1 record…

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