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Four Mariners file for salary arbitration

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SEATTLE -- The Mariners' four eligible players -- first baseman/designated hitter Kendrys Morales, catcher John Jaso, shortstop Brendan Ryan and reliever Shawn Kelley -- were among 133 Major League players who filed for salary arbitration Tuesday.

All four players are under team control, but must either come to agreement on new contracts or go through the binding arbitration process in February.

Teams and players will exchange salary arbitration figures Friday if no deal is reached by that deadline. Binding arbitration hearings then take place from Feb. 4-20, with independent arbitrators choosing either the figure submitted by the team or the player, with no compromise, on a one-year contract.

The Mariners haven't had a player go all the way to a final binding arbitration hearing since Freddy Garcia in 2003.

Morales, acquired from the Angels in a trade for Jason Vargas last month, is entering his third and final year of arbitration eligibility before becoming a free agent next season. He earned $2,975,000 with the Angels last year.

Ryan, also entering his final year of arbitration eligibility, will be an interesting case as he earned $1.75 million last year and hit just .194, but earned a Fielding Bible Award as the best defensive shortstop in baseball.

Kelley is in his second season of arbitration eligibility after agreeing to a $600,000 deal last year as a Super Two qualifier.

Jaso hits the arbitration process for the first time after making $495,000 in 2012.

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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