Marlins avoid arbitration with reliever Morris

Sides come to terms on 1-year deal worth $1.35 million, source says

Marlins avoid arbitration with reliever Morris

MIAMI -- Marlins reliever Bryan Morris, who was third on the team in appearances last season, avoided arbitration on Thursday night by coming to terms on a one-year deal worth $1.35 million, according to a source.

The 28-year-old right-hander, in arbitration for the first time, was used primarily in late-inning setup situations. He projects as a seventh-inning option this year.

With Morris locked up, the Marlins now are working on hammering out agreements with their six remaining players who have filed for arbitration: Jose Fernandez, Adeiny Hechavarria, A.J. Ramos, Tom Koehler, Carter Capps and David Phelps.

The Marlins are aiming to get all six done before Friday's 1 p.m. ET salary arbitration exchange deadline.

If not, Miami is a "file and trial" team, meaning the club halts negotiations after the deadline and goes straight to an arbitration hearing. Hearings will take place Feb. 1-21. Technically, teams and players can negotiate up until the hearing date.

The only exception the Marlins have made is if they work out a multiyear deal. That took place last year with reliever Mike Dunn, who didn't agree by the exchange deadline, but weeks later signed for two years.

Morris appeared in 67 games last year. Only Dunn (72) and Ramos (71) had more outings.

Morris posted a 5-4 record with a 3.14 ERA, striking out 47 in 63 innings. In 187 career games, the right-hander has a 2.78 ERA with 140 strikeouts in 197 1/3 innings.

Joe Frisaro is a reporter for MLB.com. He writes a blog, called The Fish Pond. Follow him on Twitter @JoeFrisaro and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.