PEORIA, Ariz. -- Mariners general manager Bill Bavasi still has a perfect record for never having a player's salary decided by a third party. One week after acquiring left-hander Erik Bedard from the Orioles, the Mariners avoided a potential salary arbitration hearing with the anointed Opening Day starter by reaching agreement on a one-year, $7 million contract. Bedard, who made $3.4 million last season, was seeking $8 million through salary arbitration while the Orioles offered $6 million. The Mariners inherited the contract situation when they sent outfielder Adam Jones, reliever George Sherrill and three Minor League pitchers to Baltimore for the veteran left-handed starter.
"We are pleased to have Erik signed for 2008 and to avoid the arbitration process," Bavasi said in a release. "It was important to the club to get this done quickly and fairly to avoid any distraction as we prepare for the season." Bedard, who turns 29 on March 6, went 13-5 with a 3.16 ERA in 28 starts last season with the Orioles. He set a Baltimore club record and finished third in the American League with 221 strikeouts. In addition, the left-hander led the AL with 10.93 strikeouts per nine innings and a .212 opponents' batting average. Prior to settling with Bedard, the Mariners signed Sherrill and left-handed starter Horacio Ramirez to one-year contracts. They had been the only Mariners eligible for salary arbitration.
Jim Street is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.