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Smith avoids arbitration with $4.225M deal

With all under contract, Giants sidestep hearings for 15th consecutive year
January 11, 2019

Closer Will Smith agreed to a one-year, $4.225 million deal with the Giants, avoiding arbitration ahead of Friday's deadline to exchange salary figures, according to a report from USA Today's Bob Nightengale.The Giants previously reached agreements with their two other arbitration-eligible players, second baseman Joe Panik and right-handed reliever Sam

Closer Will Smith agreed to a one-year, $4.225 million deal with the Giants, avoiding arbitration ahead of Friday's deadline to exchange salary figures, according to a report from USA Today's Bob Nightengale.
The Giants previously reached agreements with their two other arbitration-eligible players, second baseman Joe Panik and right-handed reliever Sam Dyson, in November. Panik is slated to earn $3.8 million in 2019, and Dyson is signed for $5 million.
San Francisco has not had an arbitration case go to a hearing since A.J. Pierzynski in 2004.
Smith, 29, posted a 2.55 ERA over 53 innings and saved 14 games for the Giants in 2018, his first full season back from Tommy John surgery. Though he is currently projected to reprise his role as the team's closer, it remains to be seen if Smith will still be on the Giants' roster on Opening Day.
President of baseball operations Farhan Zaidi has said he's received plenty of calls on his relievers, so he could look to trade Smith in exchange for younger talent this offseason. The Angels are reportedly one of the teams that have had talks with the Giants regarding Smith and fellow left-handed reliever Tony Watson.
Smith's salary would likely help the Giants get a strong return in a potential trade, as he is a more affordable alternative to free-agent relievers such as Craig Kimbrel and Adam Ottavino. Smith, who was acquired from the Brewers in August 2016, is entering his final season before free agency.

Maria Guardado covers the Giants for MLB.com. She previously covered the Angels from 2017-18. Follow her on Twitter.