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January 19, 2010 at 11:21 AM

Mark Lowe “very happy” with new $1.15 million contract

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Just finished talking to the newest Seattle Mariners millionaire, that being pitcher Mark Lowe, who has agreed to a $1.15 million deal and avoided arbitration with the team,
“Obviously, the money I’d been making, the major league minimum, was more than enough to get by on,” he said. “But when you get a chance to have a deal like this, obviously, it’s something I’m very happy about and I’m glad we were able to come to a deal so quickly.”
Lowe is an interesting case, given how plenty of teams in baseball figure he could be a big league closer right now. But the M’s have David Aardsma, who notched 38 saves last season, meaning Lowe isn’t going to close for Seattle any time soon.
When it came to negotiating, Lowe said his side didn’t attempt to make any “should be a closer” arguments.
“I didn’t have the saves and I wasn’t pitching in the ninth inning, so it isn’t the same,” Lowe said. “For me, the important thing was just to get this done as quickly as possible and get something that was fair for both sides. I just put it all in the hands of my agent, to tell you the truth. For me, the important thing is just to get out there and pitch and I’m looking forward to doing that.”
I joked with Lowe about the fact that — once again — he’s still with the team despite the usual half-dozen or so trade rumors this winter in which his name popped up. Part of that has to do with the whole “closer in waiting” perception other teams have of him.
“I’m sure next year, I’ll go through it all over again,” he said. “That just comes with the territory.”
Lowe’s deal means Aardsma, Brandon League and Casey Kotchman are the three M’s who are arbitration eligible and still haven’t signed. We’re assuming, of course, that Felix Hernandez passes his physical and eliminates the need for arbitration with that five-year package. The M’s are speaking to all three camps as I write this and we could have more deals today.

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