ANAHEIM, Calif. — Jamie Moyer had the team's permission to return home tonight to attend a family event.
The Mariners, however, needed Moyer's permission to send him out of Seattle.
They got it, trading Moyer to the Philadelphia Phillies for two right-handed pitching prospects currently at the Class A level. The deal ends Moyer's 11 seasons as a Mariner.
"It's not easy," Seattle manager Bill Bavasi said of trading Moyer. "But you've got a duty to take care of your organization and keep it growing."
Moyer did not return a phone call after the announcement of today's trade. He last pitched Thursday, and after the Mariners' 5-2 loss to the Los Angeles Angels he was asked how he felt the team's spirit was in the midst of the longest losing streak of the season.
"I don't know," he said. "I can only speak personally. It's difficult. But tomorrow is another day."
Moyer, 43, had to approve the deal because he has 10 years of major-league experience and five years' tenure with the same team. He came to Seattle in a 1996 trade from Boston for Darren Bragg, and he began his big-league career with the Chicago Cubs in 1986.
Moyer, a left-hander, did not approve a deal that would have sent him to Houston last year.
In today's trade, Seattle acquired Andrew Baldwin and Andrew Barb.
Baldwin projects to be a starting pitcher and is currently at Clearwater, Fla., the Phillies' highest Class A team. The 23-year-old was a fifth-round draft pick in 2004. Barb, 21, resides in Redmond and is with the Phillies' lower Class A club in Lakewood, N.J. He attended Everett Community College.
"In a deal like this you end up looking through names real, real fast," Bavasi said.
Moyer is 6-12 this season, but the Mariners have averaged 3.52 runs in his starts this season, the second-lowest run support of any pitcher in the American League. The Phillies are 2½ games behind Cincinnati in the NL wild-card chase, and the addition of Moyer is part of the team's playoff push.
"We felt we needed a veteran pitcher that slots on our club," general manager Pat Gillick said to the Philadelphia Inquirer. "He's got 18 years of experience. He's a guy that's going to lend a lot of stability."
Gillick said it remains possible Moyer will return to the Phillies next season. He re-signed with Seattle for $5.5 million last offseason, and according to the Inquirer, Moyer had to agree to a mutual option with Philadelphia for next season before the Phillies agreed to the trade.
Moyer spoke with Gillick on Friday, Bavasi said.
"Jamie talked to Pat and was made to feel good about making that move," Bavasi said.
Moyer is from Pennsylvania. He was born in Sellersville. The move, however, was not something done as a courtesy to Moyer, Bavasi said.
"I'd love to tell you that taking care of Jamie was a high priority," Bavasi said. "It wasn't. Our job is to take care of the Seattle Mariners, so the fact that he's getting to go to a club like Philadelphia, a couple of games back in the wild card, is great. We are really happy for him. But we always take care of ourselves."
During the current trip, Mariners starting pitchers have completed the sixth inning in just three games. Moyer has been responsible for two of them. In his start Thursday, he left with two outs in the seventh inning.
The end of Moyer's decade-long tenure with the Mariners is the beginning of the team's look at who will be in the starting rotation next season.
"We have got the potential for three openings in the rotation," Bavasi said. "So we better start looking at some people now and trying to win some games."
Gil Meche will be a free agent, Joel Pineiro is arbitration-eligible, and Moyer was unsigned beyond this season.
Bavasi was asked if this signifies the Mariners have shifted the organization's focus to preparing for next season.
"I don't think any more than you see us doing right now," Bavasi said.
Bavasi was asked who would take Moyer's place in the starting rotation, and he said he did not know. Left-hander Jake Woods will start today's game for Seattle, replacing Pineiro.