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Padres, Smith strike deal to avoid arbitration

Kennedy, Cashner, Ross, Headley, Cabrera and Blanks file as expected

Padres, Smith strike deal to avoid arbitration

The Padres and outfielder Seth Smith, acquired last month in a trade with the Athletics, agreed on a one-year contract on Tuesday to avoid salary arbitration, the club announced.

Smith, 31, who came in a trade for relief pitcher Luke Gregerson to fill the Padres' need for a left-handed-hitting outfielder, batted .253 with eight home runs and 40 RBIs last season for Oakland. According to a Major League source, the contract is worth $4.5 million.

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Most of Smith's playing time came against right-handed pitchers -- 323 of his 410 plate appearances -- and he hit .258 with a .748 OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage) against them. Smith, who played with the Rockies from 2007-11 before being traded to the Athletics for pitcher Guillermo Moscoso and Josh Outman, has a career .844 OPS against lefties.

The Padres' six remaining players eligible for arbitration -- pitchers Ian Kennedy, Andrew Cashner and Tyson Ross, third baseman Chase Headley, shortstop Everth Cabrera and outfielder/first baseman Kyle Blanks -- each filed on Tuesday.

The next step occurs Friday, when players and clubs exchange proposals for a one-year contract. According to procedure, each player to file is considered signed. But there's no set salary until a compromise is reached, before or after the player and his club exchange figures. If no settlement ensues, the case goes before an arbitration panel, which awards the player with either his salary proposal or the club's after each side states its case. Arbitration hearings will be scheduled between Feb. 1-21.

All 133 players who filed for arbitration last year reached deals with their respective clubs, avoiding hearings.

Thomas Harding is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @harding_at_mlb. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

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