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Seattle Mariners first baseman Justin Smoak agrees to contract, avoids arbitration

Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jack Zduriencik today announced that the club has agreed to terms with first baseman Justin Smoak on a contract for the 2014 season, with a club vesting option for 2015. Per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.

Smoak was the Mariners last arbitration eligible player.

Smoak, 27, hit a career-high 20 home runs last season, despite being placed on the 15-day disabled list from June 2 (retroactive to May 30) to June 17 with a right oblique strain. He appeared in 131 games (124 starts) at first base (125 games, 121 starts) and designated hitter (3 starts). Smoak led the team with 30, 2-out RBI and ranked 5th among AL first basemen with a .995 fielding percentage.

Smoak has appeared in 199 career Major League games with the Mariners over the 2010-2013 seasons. He made his ML debut with Texas in 2010.

The Mariners acquired Smoak from the Rangers via trade on July 9, 2010 as a part of the Cliff Lee deal. Smoak was originally selected by the Rangers in the first round (11th overall pick) of the 2008 June Amateur Draft out of the University of South Carolina. He attended Stratford (SC) High School where he was a four-year letter winner and was the 2004 and 2005 South Carolina AAAA Baseball Player of the Year.

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