Mariners ink Mateo to two-year deal

SEATTLE -- The Seattle Mariners agreed Thursday to a
$1,875,000, two-year contract with reliever Julio Mateo that
avoided salary arbitration.

The 28-year-old right-hander made $390,000 last season, his
fourth with Seattle. He was 3-6 with two blown saves, a 3.06 ERA,
52 strikeouts and 17 walks in a career-high 55 games. That likely
would have been his third consecutive season with 50 appearances,
had he not spent six weeks of 2004 on the disabled list with elbow

He is 8-8 with a 3.56 ERA, two saves, five blown saves, 181
strikeouts and 58 walks in 162 career games.

Mateo's deal, contingent on the successful completion of a
physical, calls for a $150,000 signing bonus and salaries of
$625,000 in 2006 and $1 million in 2007. Seattle holds a $1.5
million option for 2008 with a $100,000 buyout. Mateo could
increase his 2008 base salary by $50,000 each for 55 appearances
and 60 appearances in 2007 and another $100,000 if he appears in 65