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Mariners still in hunt for starting pitching
Seattle Times staff reporter
Even with Jarrod Washburn in the rotation, the Mariners are still in the trade market for another starting pitcher.
And while outfielder Jeremy Reed may be the leading candidate to go in any deal, the Boston Red Sox aren't the only possible destination.
An industry source maintains that the New York Yankees are another possible trading partner.
"Watch the situation with Johnny Damon," the source said. "Seattle could wind up trading Reed to the club that doesn't get Damon to play center."
Damon, represented by agent Scott Boras, is known to have been offered $40 million over four years to return to Boston, far short of the $66 million over seven years he is said to have expected. But New York, seemingly in need of an upgrade over Bubba Crosby in center, has not been involved in talks yet of any significance.
Weeks ago, the Yankees reportedly claimed they rated Crosby no worse than on a par with Reed, so trade talks were downplayed.
However, there is some viability to a Mariners-Yankees swap, although Seattle's need for rotation help would not seem a fit with New York.
Yet a second source said that Seattle, even with Washburn getting $37.5 million over four years, might be willing to take on a pitcher with a sizeable salary.
That could be the Red Sox's Matt Clement or the Yankees' Carl Pavano. But more to the Mariners' liking and payroll situation would be the Red Sox's Bronson Arroyo, who made $1.85 million in 2005 and is not eligible for free agency for three more seasons, or the Yankees' Chien-Ming Wang, who was a rookie in 2005.
In other rotation matters, Seattle is expected to tender a 2006 contract to right-hander Gil Meche by tonight's deadline for offering contracts to players not yet signed for next season.
As of last night, the Mariners were not expected to tender a contract to Franklin, who made $2.4 million in 2005.
This does not mean Franklin won't be back. Clubs still can negotiate contracts with non-tendered players, who become free agents. But Franklin, who could have made $3 million in arbitration, likely won't get that kind of money as a free-agent long reliever/spot starter.
M's officials will pore over the list of non-tendered players, looking for help in the outfield as well as pitching upgrades.
Bob Finnigan: 206-464-8276 or email@example.com
Copyright © 2005 The Seattle Times Company