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Originally published Friday, January 16, 2009 at 12:00 AM

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Woody Woodward back with Mariners — as a scout

Woody Woodward was the Seattle Mariners' GM from 1988-99.

Seattle Times staff reporter

It has been years since onetime Mariners general manager Woody Woodward worked in Major League Baseball.

That's about to change, as the 66-year-old has been hired to do professional scouting for the Mariners. Woodward lives between Daytona and Jacksonville and will likely scout the Florida State League, as well as major-league games in Atlanta, Miami and Tampa Bay.

"I've known him for many years on a professional basis," Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik said Thursday. "He wants to get his foot back in the game and with his past affiliation with the Mariners he expressed an interest to us to see whether we had anything for him."

Woodward served as Mariners GM from 1988 through 1999, with his teams making the playoffs in 1995 and 1997. His draft picks included Alex Rodriguez, Jason Varitek, Derek Lowe, Bret Boone and Raul Ibanez.

Perhaps his most notable trade was acquiring pitchers Randy Johnson, Gene Harris and Brian Holman from the Montreal Expos in 1989 in exchange for Mark Langston and Mike Campbell. Woodward's trade record was forever marred in the eyes of some Mariners fans when he dealt both Varitek and Lowe to the Red Sox in 1997 for pitcher Heathcliff Slocumb. While the Mariners went on to make the playoffs, Slocumb was a disaster and the deal helped pave the way to Woodward's resignation within 18 months.

He worked as a special assistant to the Mariners briefly but had been out of baseball for several years.


• Three Mariners filed for salary arbitration on Thursday: pitchers Erik Bedard, Aaron Heilman and Felix Hernandez.

Copyright © 2009 The Seattle Times Company

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