The Mariners have tendered contracts for the 2018 season to 27 players on their 40-man roster including five of their eight arbitration eligible players. The team has agreed to terms on a 2018 contract with infielder Andrew Romine and non-tendered Drew Smyly and Shae Simmons. With the moves, the 40-man roster is now at 35.
Smyly, who was fourth-year arbitration eligible, leaves without ever having thrown a regular season pitch for the Mariners. He suffered an injury in spring training that eventually resulted in Tommy John surgery, which puts him pitching at all in 2018 in doubt. There was no chance the Mariners would have offered Smyly a contract for next season, but Seattle did express interest in signing him to a a two-year extension that would have stretched whatever he was due in 2018, or something close to it, over 2018 and 2019. That did not happen and Smyly is now a free agent. He made $6.85 million in 2017 and under the CBA could have see that number decrease by no more than 20 percent for 2018.
Simmons was only projected to make $700,000 in his first year of arbitration eligibility but also becomes a free agent. While this move is a bit of a surprise, his struggles to return from an elbow strain suffered in spring training and previous injury history is most likely what prompted the team to move on.
The remaining arbitration-eligible players – David Phelps, Erasmo Ramirez, Nick Vincent, Mike Zunino and James Paxton – have all been tendered contracts. The deadline for teams to submit salary figures to these players is Jan. 13. Should any of the five players not be able to reach agreement on contracts for the upcoming season, arbitration hearings will be scheduled in early to mid-February.