Herald news services
SEATTLE — Two down, one to go for the Seattle Mariners’ front office.
The Mariners announced Friday they have agreed to terms with first baseman/DH Kendrys Morales and shortstop Brendan Ryan on one-year contracts. That leaves relief pitcher Shawn Kelley as the only Mariner eligible for salary arbitration. Kelley, who made $610,000 in 2012, has asked for $1.2 million. Seattle has offered $750,000.
Seattle acquired Morales, 29, from the Los Angeles Angels in December in exchange for starting pitcher Jason Vargas. Morales is a career .281 hitter, with 79 home runs and 265 RBI in six big-league seasons, all with the Angels. In 2012, he hit .273 with 26 doubles, 22 home runs and 73 RBI in 134 games.
Morales enjoyed his best season in 2009 when he recorded 43 doubles, 34 home runs, 108 RBI, and finished fifth in the American League MVP voting. He was limited to 51 games in 2010 and missed the entire 2011 season after suffering a fractured lower left leg following his walk-off grand slam against the Mariners.
Ryan, 30, has started at shortstop in 254 of the Mariners’ 324 games over the past two seasons. He leads all major-league players — not just shortstops — with 45 defensive runs saved in that time span. Ryan was named winner of the 2012 Fielding Bible Award as baseball’s best defensive shortstop and was a finalist for the AL Gold Glove Award.
Offensively, Ryan struggled in 2012. A career .244 hitter, he batted just .194 with three home runs and 31 RBI in 141 games.
Per club policy, terms of the two contracts were not disclosed.