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Mariners notebook: Zunino reportedly avoids arbitration, agrees to deal

The Mariners have reportedly avoided arbitration with catcher Mike Zunino. (AP)

The Mariners can shift one player from the ‘arbitration-eligible’ category to ‘signed,’ as Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.com tweeted Thursday that the team has reached agreement on a contract for the 2018 season with Mike Zunino. The team has yet to confirm.

Bob Stelton reacts to Jerry Dipoto’s optimism about Mariners rotation

Zunino, who is in his first year of arbitration eligibility, will receive $2.975 million, according to Crasnick. That is just shy of the $3.2 million MLB Trade Rumors projected him to earn.

With the deadline for teams and arbitration-eligible players to exchange contract figures set for 10 a.m. Friday morning, the Mariners remaining players yet to agree on 2018 contracts are relief pitchers David Phelps and Nick Vincent, and starting pitcher James Paxton and Erasmo Ramirez. Once figures are exchanged the two sides can negotiate right up until arbitration hearings, which are set for late January/early February.

Notes

• Christian Bergman, who made eight starts for the Mariners last season, has signed a minor league deal with an invitation to spring training with the organization.

• ICYMI: No Shannon/Howdy podcast this week, but we do have a Hot Stove Show podcast which features interviews with Scott Servais, Taylor Motter, Marco Gonzales and baseball writer Tracy Ringolsby.

• For planning purposes: We now have the start times for all 162 Mariners games. An updated schedule can be found here.

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