Phillies, Hunter Pence avoid arbitration for $10.4 million

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Hunter Pence and the Phillies won’t be needing an arbitration hearing, as Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that the two sides have agreed to a one-year deal worth $10.4 million.

Pence submitted an $11.8 million request while Philadelphia countered at $9 million, which is a very big spread relative to other filings and may have kept the Phillies from adding another piece until they knew what his salary would be.

Pence, who was acquired from the Astros at midseason, earned $6.9 million last year while hitting .314 with 22 homers and an .871 OPS. He’ll be eligible for arbitration for the final time in 2013, at which point he’ll be a free agent at age 30.

Mariners sweep A’s in two-game Japan Series

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The big news, of course, is Ichiro’s retirement. But there was a baseball game that counted today as well and the Mariners took it. Seattle beat Oakland 5-4 in 12 innings to sweep the two-game Japan Series.

Ichiro may have taken an 0-for-4 in his last game, but Ryon Healy and Mitch Haniger homered for the Mariners, staking Seattle to a 3-0 lead after three. The A’s picked up two in the fifth and Seattle added one via a Jay Bruce sac fly to make it 4-2 in the seventh. Oakland tied things back up, ultimately sending it to extras when Khris Davis singled in Matt Chapman in the seventh. Davis would blow a chance to put Oakland ahead in the 11th when he struck out with the bases loaded.

In the twelfth, Domingo Santana, who hit a grand slam in Seattle’s win in the opener on Wednesday, beat out a would-be double-play with the bases loaded to drive in the go-ahead and, ultimately, winning run.

The rebuilding Mariners are now 2-0 on the young year. The A’s, who won 97 games last year, are 0-2. Viva the smallest of sample sizes.