Mariners, Bell Sign 1-Year Contract

Wednesday, January 31st 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

SEATTLE (AP) — Third baseman David Bell, who had filed for salary arbitration, signed a one-year contract with the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday.

Bell, 28, was seeking $2.65 million from the Mariners, who were offering $1.85 million. He earned $1,425,000 last season, when he started 81 games at third and 40 at second.

The Mariners have signed all five of their arbitration-eligible players, including pitcher Paul Abbott on Monday.

Bell hit .247 with 11 home runs and 47 RBIs in 133 games last season, when the Mariners went to the AL championship series. In 1999, he hit .288 with 21 homers and 78 RBIs with Seattle.

``David's versatility has been very important to us the last few years,'' general manager Pat Gillick said. ``He has played great defense for us at second and at third, and we are happy to get him signed.''

Bell is the son of Colorado Rockies manager Buddy Bell and the grandson of late major leaguer Gus Bell.

The Mariners will open spring training when pitchers and catchers report Feb. 15 in Peoria, Ariz.