Just as quickly as the Athletics acquired John Jaso from the Mariners yesterday, they have agreed to terms on a contract for the 2013 season with the catcher, they also agreed to terms with Seth Smith on a contract. The team announced the deals initially, and terms of the deals were reported by Susan Slusser shortly thereafter. Jaso will make $1.8 million, and Smith will make $3.675 million.
As noted yesterday, Jaso will likely find himself in a platoon with Derek Norris, playing primarily against right handed pitchers. At a salary of just $1.8 million though, just about any level of offensive production he contributes will be money well spent. He should be a welcome addition to the Athletics without a doubt.
Seth Smith’s salary is a little higher than was projected in the MLBTradeRumors.com arbitration projections at $3.675 versus $3.3 million, but it’s still relatively affordable and most likely falls somewhere in between what Smith and the team would have submitted for an arbitration hearing. It still seems like a possibility that he could be traded at some point if the playing time simply is not there for him. Hopefully though that isn’t the case because Smith provided valuable offense for the A’s in 2012, playing mostly against right handed pitchers and switching between DHing and playing the corner outfield spots. He’s something of an outfield utility man, and as he demonstrated in game 4 of the ALDS, has the ability to come through in big situations when the team needs him the most.
The two signings leave the A’s with just two remaining arbitration cases with first baseman Brandon Moss and reliever Jerry Blevins yet to sign 2013 contracts. The odds are pretty good that both of them will sign before they reach the level of having a hearing. As the 2013 season starts to come into focus, the newest edition of the Athletics is taking shape, and things are looking good.