Trade talk perks up as M's attempt to get Red Sox pitcher in trade
While the Mariners are in pursuit of Jarrod Washburn, Kevin Millwood and Scott Elarton, with an emphasis on Washburn, their efforts on Sidney...
Seattle Times staff reporter
While the Mariners are in pursuit of Jarrod Washburn, Kevin Millwood and Scott Elarton, with an emphasis on Washburn, their efforts on Sidney Ponson are thought to be stalled at this time.
Meanwhile, they are running a parallel bid to acquire a starting pitcher in trade with Boston, which called to offer right-hander Matt Clement for Mariners center fielder Jeremy Reed. Sources say those discussions have accelerated.
According to multiple sources, Seattle is believed to have countered the Red Sox's offer of Clement with a request for right-hander Bronson Arroyo.
One East Coast source suggested a scenario in which Boston might make a deal even if it hasn't reached resolution in efforts to re-sign free agent center fielder Johnny Damon. But that seems unlikely.
There is a faint possibility that if Seattle landed the cheaper Arroyo, it would continue its interest in a free-agent starter as well, possibly Elarton.
The Mariners are believed to have offered Elarton a two-year deal, while they have made four-year bids to Scott Boras clients Millwood and Washburn at much more money.
Arroyo, who will be 29 in 2006, is three years younger than Clement and makes a lot less money but is regarded no less than equal as a performer.
"Clement is a hard thrower and that gets your attention," an American League scout said. "But a lot of people would prefer to have Arroyo, and not only because he makes less for the same job. He's got a great sinker and gets a lot of grounders.
"That's a huge plus if you have a good defensive infield, and Seattle does. Of course, Clement is a fly-ball pitcher, and a big park would be a plus for him, too."
Arroyo, who made $1.85 million last season, was 14-10 with a 4.51 ERA in 32 starts, pitching 205-1/3 innings. He is arbitration-eligible and could be a free agent after 2006.
Clement, with $17.25 million due the next two years, was 13-6 with a 4.57 ERA in 32 starts, working 191 innings.
Even if Boston agrees to trade Arroyo, the Sox are believed to be holding off to see if they can re-sign Damon. However, the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Dodgers are said to be interested to the point of making offers to Damon. One rumor had Los Angeles offering $49 million over five years, which tops Boston's current bid of $44 million over four years.
The Red Sox have talked to Cleveland about outfielder Coco Crisp. One scenario is that if the Indians sign Nomar Garciaparra, he would play left field and the Indians would be willing to trade Crisp.
While the Mariners would likely try to sign a free-agent outfielder to replace Reed if there were a trade, there is also a chance they would ask Ichiro if he would move from his comfort zone in right field — where he has won five straight Gold Gloves — to center.
• Seattle acquired left-handed reliever Luis Gonzalez from the Colorado Rockies, who had picked him up in the Rule 5 Draft. Right-hander Jeff Harris was outrighted to Class AAA Tacoma, and right-hander Cha Seung Baek was designated for assignment.
Bob Finnigan: 206-464-8276 or email@example.com
When vice president of Sub Pop Records Megan Jasper isn't running things at the office, she's working in her garden at her West Seattle home where she and her husband Brian spend time relaxing.
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