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Padres agree to contracts with 4 pitchers

Capps, Hand, Friedrich, Maurer reach deals for 2017
MLB.com @AJCassavell

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres avoided salary arbitration with four pitchers on Friday, and they appear destined to avoid any hearings for the third consecutive offseason.

Right-handers Carter Capps and Brandon Maurer and lefties Christian Friedrich and Brad Hand agreed to one-year deals with the club ahead of Friday's deadline to exchange figures.

SAN DIEGO -- The Padres avoided salary arbitration with four pitchers on Friday, and they appear destined to avoid any hearings for the third consecutive offseason.

Right-handers Carter Capps and Brandon Maurer and lefties Christian Friedrich and Brad Hand agreed to one-year deals with the club ahead of Friday's deadline to exchange figures.

"Ultimately, it's always best when you can agree and you have a chance to sign those guys like we did today," general manager A.J. Preller said. "That's always the best outcome. So, from our standpoint, to avoid arbitration, to be able to agree and have the guys start focusing on what they do best -- which is play baseball -- we're excited to get those things done today."

After the deadline, third baseman Yangervis Solarte agreed to an extension, leaving Wil Myers as the club's lone remaining arbitration-eligible player. But a hearing appears unlikely for Myers, who could be ticketed for a long-term extension, rendering any arbitration proceedings moot. On Friday, Myers filed for $4 million, while the Padres countered with a $3.4 million offer.

Maurer, Hand and Friedrich were each entering their first year of arbitration, and their exact salary figures are unknown. Capps is in his second year and is ticketed to make $987,500 -- the same salary he received in 2016, when he missed the entire season because of Tommy John surgery.

Preller expects Capps to be fully healthy by Spring Training.

With Capps on board, the back end of the bullpen now solidified. Capps joins Maurer, Hand and Ryan Buchter as favorites for late-inning roles.

"That's a pretty good foundation," Preller said. "If the four of those guys are healthy, and they perform like they're capable of, [the bullpen] is an area, for us, that we're hoping is a strength."

If San Diego doesn't come to agreement with Myers, an independent arbitrator will pick between the two sides' figures to determine his 2017 salary. The Padres have avoided all arbitration cases under Preller, and they haven't gone to a hearing since Andrew Cashner won his in 2014.

AJ Cassavell covers the Padres for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @ajcassavell.

San Diego Padres, Carter Capps, Christian Friedrich, Brad Hand, Brandon Maurer