Expect Mariners to keep their arb-eligible arms

Colome, Elias posted strong seasons in 2018

November 28th, 2018

SEATTLE -- The Mariners are expected to offer contracts to both of their remaining arbitration-eligible players prior to Friday's 5 p.m. PT non-tender deadline.

Right-handed reliever Alex Colome and left-hander are the Mariners' lone arbitration-eligible players after and Mike Zunino were traded in the past two weeks.

The Mariners previously had outrighted relievers and to Triple-A Tacoma, while pitchers and Nick Vincent declined outrights and became free agents and catcher Chris Herrmann was claimed off waivers by the Astros. All would have been arbitration-eligible had they remained on the 40-man roster.

Colome earned $5.3 million in 2018 and is expected to get a significant raise in his second year of arbitration eligibility, but he remains a key piece in Seattle's bullpen plans -- or as a trade chip this offseason -- after posting a 2.53 ERA in 47 outings since being acquired from the Rays in May.

Elias earned just over the Major League minimum at $580,000 last season and is entering his first year of the arbitration process. The 30-year-old went 3-1 with a 2.65 ERA in 23 appearances, including four spot starts, after being re-acquired from the Red Sox in an April trade.

Teams have to tender contracts to all players on their roster by Friday's deadline or they become free agents. That's a routine procedure for players with less than three years of service time earning the MLB minimum. But clubs sometimes non-tender -- or don't offer contracts -- to arbitration-eligible players in the 4-6 year category who might be in line for significant salary increases that aren't consistent with their perceived value to the team.