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David Aardsma signed to $4.5M contract

Seattle Mariners closer David Aardsma today avoided arbitration by signing a one year $4.5M contract with several incentive clauses. According to Geoff Baker at the Seattle Times,

Aardsma can also reach another $325,000 in incentives based on the games he finishes for the club in 2011. He gets $50,000 for the first 35 games he finishes, $50,000 more for finishing 40 games, then $75,000 more when he hits each of the 45-game, 50-game and 55-game plateaus.

Seattle were not necessarily banking on Aardsma to be their main man in the bullpen and had considered trading him away in order to save money and bring in a hitter in return, taking advantage of a seller’s market for relief pitching. However, news of a torn hip labrum derailed their to make a deal based around the closer, and now they’re on the hook for several million dollars unless they manage to trade him during the summer.

Pitchers Jason Vargas and Brandon League also signed one-year deals with the team today, but the details of their contract are currently unknown.