Giants, closer Will Smith reach deal to avoid arbitration

The Giants kept an impressive streak alive Friday when they reached a one-year contract agreement with closer Will Smith. For the 15th consecutive offseason, the Giants will not take a player into a salary-arbitration hearing.

USA Today reported the deal is worth $4.225 million.

Smith was the Giants’ only arbitration-eligible player still unsigned ahead of Friday’s deadline for the player and team to submit proposed salaries.

If a case goes to a hearing, a three-person arbitration panel picks one figure or the other. Those hearings can get nasty, as players must sit in a conference room and listen to team officials recite all of his shortfalls in a bid to win the case.

The Giants have not had an arbitration hearing since the 2003-04 offseason, when just-acquired catcher A.J. Pierzynski beat them and got a $3.5 million salary. The Giants had offered $2.25 million.

The Giants nearly went before a panel with Tim Lincecum in 2010 and Brandon Belt in 2016. Both players settled just as hearing were set to begin.

Smith’s contract agreement does not necessarily mean he will be a Giant on Opening Day. The team is dangling some of its back-end relievers in trade talks for young outfielders and starting pitchers.

If anything, Smith’s $4.225 million salary makes him more valuable in trade talks with smaller-market contenders who do not want to pay three times that for top-end relievers in free agency.

Henry Schulman is a San Francisco Chronicle staff writer. Email: hschulman@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @hankschulman

This post was originally posted at https://www.sfgate.com/giants/article/Report-Giants-reach-one-year-deal-with-closer-13526853.php.

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