Before today, the Seattle Mariners were looking at one potential arbitration hearing. As of today, the Seattle Mariners are now looking at zero potential arbitration hearings. Unless they trade for a player due for an arbitration hearing. Let's assume they're not going to do that. Always assume inactivity. Actually, very infrequently assume inactivity, but in this particular circumstance, assume inactivity.
Reliever Shawn Kelley agrees to $935K deal to avoid arbitration. #Mariners offered $750K. Kelley filed at $1.2 million.— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) January 31, 2013
Kelley receives sequential bonuses for 60, 90, 120 and 150 days on #mariners roster. Deal could be worth $1.1M total— Jerry Crasnick (@jcrasnick) January 31, 2013
This obviously isn't a big deal, because it's just Shawn Kelley settling on a one-year contract. Teams almost always settle with players, instead of proceeding to a hearing where they have to argue why the player sucks, using woefully antiquated statistics. Kelley was going to settle and it was going to be somewhere around the midpoint.
I'm just writing about this because I wouldn't have been surprised had the Mariners non-tendered Kelley a while back instead of going this route. That's not something I would've wanted or supported, mind you. We've written a bunch of times about Kelley's usefulness, and the man has 122 career strikeouts against 29 career unintentional walks. He's a fine reliever. But he's not an outstanding reliever, he doesn't stand to become an outstanding reliever, the Mariners' bullpen is pretty full, and the Mariners have demonstrated in the past that they're not the biggest Shawn Kelley fans. They haven't treated him like a reliever they highly value.
In a way, Kelley is like the pitching staff's version of Casper Wells. He's just fine -- not amazing, but just fine -- and he can help this team, but I always get the sense that he doesn't have a lot of internal support. And so it wouldn't surprise me to see Kelley get discarded, just as it wouldn't surprise me to see Wells get discarded. Not for nothing, especially in Wells' case, but not for much, and not for a great reason.
I like Shawn Kelley, and I like Casper Wells. I don't get the feeling like the Mariners really like Shawn Kelley or Casper Wells. At least for the time being, though, both players are still with the team, so there's that going in their and our favor. They haven't been dumped just yet, and, checking Twitter...they still haven't been dumped just yet. All right, cool. Kelley's still here.
I don't know how to wrap up this post so I'll note that Craig Breslow and the Red Sox differed by fifty thousand dollars in their arbitration filings. I've never before seen a smaller gap between a team and a player. They wound up signing off on a multi-year contract extension, so there's not going to be a hearing, but that really would've been some hearing. The Red Sox could've shown up with $50,000 worth of bottled water just to be dicks.