Mariners sign IF Tommy La Stella to 1-year deal

Jayne Kamin-Oncea-USA TODAY Sports
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SEATTLE – The Seattle Mariners signed infielder Tommy La Stella to a one-year contract, adding another versatile veteran to their roster.

La Stella spent the past two seasons with San Francisco but was designated for assignment by the Giants in late December. La Stella signed a three-year, $18.75 million deal before the 2021 season but played in just 136 games and hit .245 over his two seasons with the Giants.

“Tommy’s makeup, instincts and experience in winning environments will benefit our team as we look to make the next step.” Mariners President of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto said in a statement. “We value his versatility and strike zone management skills, as well as what I believe to be a high baseball IQ.”

Seattle will be the sixth different team for La Stella after breaking in with Atlanta in 2014. He was an All-Star selection with the Los Angeles Angels in 2019, when he hit a career-best .295 with an .832 OPS, 16 homers and 44 RBIs but was limited to just 80 games after suffering a fractured tibia on a foul ball.

La Stella has primarily played second and third base and likely will be in a rotation at those positions for Seattle. He also was the designated hitter in 43 games last season for the Giants and could be a left-handed hitting option in that spot for Seattle.

RHP Fairbanks, Rays agree to 3-year, $12 million contract

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Dave Nelson/USA TODAY Sports
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. — Reliever Pete Fairbanks and the Tampa Bay Rays avoided arbitration when they agreed Friday to a three-year, $12 million contract that could be worth up to $24.6 million over four seasons.

The deal includes salaries of $3,666,666 this year and $3,666,667 in each of the next two seasons. The Rays have a $7 million option for 2026 with a $1 million buyout.

His 2024 and 2025 salaries could increase by $300,000 each based on games finished in the previous season: $150,000 each for 35 and 40.

Tampa Bay’s option price could increase by up to $6 million, including $4 million for appearances: $1 million each for 60 and 70 in 2025; $500,000 for 125 from 2023-25 and $1 million each for 135, 150 and 165 from 2023-25. The option price could increase by $2 million for games finished in 2025: $500,000 each for 25, 30, 35 and 40.

Fairbanks also has a $500,000 award bonus for winning the Hoffman/Rivera reliever of the year award and $200,000 for finishing second or third.

The 29-year-old right-hander is 11-10 with a 2.98 ERA and 15 saves in 111 appearances, with all but two of the outings coming out of the bullpen since being acquired by the Rays from the Texas Rangers in July 2019.

Fairbanks was 0-0 with a 1.13 ERA in 24 appearances last year after beginning the season on the 60-day injured list with a right lat strain.

Fairbanks made his 2022 debut on July 17 and tied for the team lead with eight saves despite being sidelined more than three months. In addition, he is 0-0 with a 3.60 ERA in 12 career postseason appearances, all with Tampa Bay.

He had asked for a raise from $714,400 to $1.9 million when proposed arbitration salaries were exchanged Jan. 13, and the Rays had offered for $1.5 million.

Fairbanks’ agreement was announced two days after left-hander Jeffrey Springs agreed to a $31 million, four-year contract with Tampa Bay that could be worth $65.75 million over five seasons.

Tampa Bay remains scheduled for hearings with right-handers Jason Adam and Ryan Thompson, left-hander Colin Poche, third baseman Yandy Diaz and outfielder Harold Ramirez.