SAN FRANCISCO — The arbitration season won’t come with any drama for the Giants.
The team agreed to a one-year, $4.225 million deal with closer Will Smith, according to USA Today, avoiding an arbitration hearing. The Giants previously had signed Joe Panik and Sam Dyson to one-year deals and non-tendered Hunter Strickland and Gorkys Hernandez.
They have no remaining arbitration-eligible players.
Smith, 29, would enter the spring as the favorite to be the Opening Day closer, but there’s no guarantee that he’ll be at Scottsdale Stadium. The Giants have fielded calls on Smith all offseason and have felt there’s a good chance they can get a strong return for Smith in a trade. They were waiting for the free agent market to clear up a bit, and that mostly has happened in recent weeks.
Smith is coming off a strong season during which he returned from Tommy John surgery and posted a 2.55 ERA and 0.98 WHIP, with his velocity returning to pre-surgery levels. He took over the closer job soon after Strickland punched a door and held it throughout the second half, totaling 14 saves.
This is the final year that Smith — acquired at the deadline in 2016 — is under contract, which is why the Giants have been eager to try to move him for prospects.
The organization has not gone to a hearing since 2004, when A.J. Pierzynski was the target.