Giants, utility man Arias settle on two-year contract
Infielder avoids arbitration after batting .271 in 102 games last season
SAN FRANCISCO -- Sacrificing potential income for job security, Giants infielder Joaquin Arias agreed to terms on a two-year deal Thursday, avoiding salary arbitration.
Arias' accord left first baseman Brandon Belt as the Giants' lone unsigned arbitration-eligible player. Belt filed for a one-year, $3.6 million contract, significantly exceeding the club's $2.05 million figure.
A career backup who had been forced to accept year-to-year deals, the 29-year-old Arias surely welcomed the Giants' offer of multiyear stability. The contract's financial terms reflected that. CSN Bay Area reported that Arias will receive a $2.6 million package with an average annual value of $1.3 million -- the midpoint between the Giants' arbitration offer of $1.1 million and Arias' bid for $1.5 million. Arias, who earned $925,000 last year, thus forfeited the possibility of a significant raise if he enjoys a productive 2014 season.
Arias performed capably last year, his first full Major League season. He batted .271 in 102 games, including 47 starts. He has emerged as the Giants' top substitute when third baseman Pablo Sandoval is injured or when shortstop Brandon Crawford is benched against a challenging left-handed pitcher. Arias virtually duplicated his production from 2012, when he hit .270 in 112 games.