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.
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The signing leaves only three Mariners arbitration-eligible, pitchers David Aardsma, Brandon League and Jason Vargas.