Friday January 16th, 2015

The San Diego Padres avoided arbitration with utility man Alexi Amarista on Friday, agreeing on a two-year, $2.5 million deal, CBS Sports' Jon Heyman reports.

Amarista, 25, was arbitration-eligible for the first time this winter after playing in 148 games last season, starting at shortstop, third base, second base, center field and left field.

He hit .239/.286/.314 in 466 plate appearances, with 13 doubles, two triples, five homers and 40 RBI, while stealing 12 bases in 13 attempts.

For a historically bad offensive club, his .239 mark was above the team average of .226, which was the lowest team average in MLB for a full season since the Padres hit .227 in 1972.

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Amarista was originally signed by the Los Angeles Angels as an international free agent from Venezuela in 2007. He came to San Diego as part of the trade in May 2012 that sent reliever Ernesto Frieri to the Angels.

In 423 major-league games, Amarista is a career .234/.279/.336 hitter with 15 homers and 109 RBI. The only positions he hasn’t played in his career are first base, catcher and pitcher.

At 5-foot-6, Amarista shared the distinction along with Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve as the shortest players in the major leagues in 2014.

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- Phil Watson

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