The Seattle Mariners and infielder Brendan Ryan, acquired from the St. Louis Cardinals this winter, avoided arbitration today by agreeing to a two-year contract worth a reported $2.75 million.
At 28, Ryan could well be the starting second baseman this season - and the shortstop of the future with Jack Wilson in the final year of his deal and struggling to stay healthy.
Ryan made $425,000 last season with the Cardinals, batting just .223 in 139 games following wrist surgery, but hit .292 in 2009 and has a career batting average of .259. With no shortstop close to big-league ready in the Seattle farm system, Ryan's contract gives the Mariners options - depth at a position that likely will need it.
Jack and Josh Wilson, along with Ryan, give the Mariners three viable defenders at the position, with Ryan perhaps having the most offensive upside.
The signing leaves only three Mariners arbitration-eligible, pitchers David Aardsma, Brandon League and Jason Vargas.