Friday, August 09, 2002

Seattle beats Reds to Offerman

Baseball notebook

The Associated Press

        SEATTLE — The AL West-leading Seattle Mariners, who didn't make a major deal before last week's deadline for trades without waivers, acquired infielder Jose Offerman from the Boston Red Sox on Thursday.

        Offerman, 33, was designated for assignment by the Red Sox last week, and refused to report to Triple-A Pawtucket, his right as a veteran player. Seattle and Cincinnati were both interested in acquiring him.

        “He was designated for assignment about seven days ago. He cleared waivers this morning and he was assigned over to us about an hour later,” Mariners general manager Pat Gillick said. “It's a trade. It's not a waiver claim and it's not a termination. It's an assignment of his contract.”

        Boston owed Offerman the remaining $2,131,149 of this year's $6.5 million salary, and a $2 million buyout of an $8 million club option for 2003. Seattle must pay at least $57,923 of that, a prorated share of the $200,000 minimum, and probably agreed to pay a little more, because two teams were interested in the infielder.

        “We've got an agreement with Boston that we find quite favorable,” Gillick said. “Right now the addition of Offerman works within our guidelines.”

        Offerman has signed a $26 million, four-year contract when he joined Boston as a free agent in November 1998.

        Offerman, who was used at first base and designated hitter in 72 games with the Red Sox this season, will be a reserve for Mariners manager Lou Piniella. Seattle has Edgar Martinez at designated hitter and John Olerud at first base.

        “We think Jose will strengthen our bench,” Gillick said. “He's a switch-hitter who can play a variety of positions, including first base, and, with his experience, he provides Lou with some more options.”

        An All-Star in 1995 and 1999, Offerman was hitting .232 (55-for-237) with four homers and 27 RBIs with the Red Sox when he was designated for assignment.

        The Mariners have been concerned about their inconsistent offense and Offerman should help. He is a career .275 hitter with 52 homers and 498 RBIs in 1,459 games in the major leagues.

        He also has been with the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Kansas City Royals.

        To make room for Offerman on their 40-man roster, the Mariners designated left-hander Brian Fitzgerald for assignment. Fitzgerald is at Triple-A Tacoma.

        CARDINALS: The St. Louis Cardinals will fill a void in their rotation on Saturday, activating Garrett Stephenson from the 60-day disabled list to start against the New York Mets.

        Stephenson has pitched a pair of rehab assignments, working six innings and allowing four earned runs for Triple-A Memphis on Monday. The team waited to see how he felt a few days after throwing 72 pitches, and got encouraging news.

        “We put him through the tests and he said he's ready to go,” manager Tony La Russa said. “So officially, Garrett is the pitcher.”

        The Cardinals think Stephenson, a 16-game winner in 2000 who's been dogged by injuries since then, can throw 85-to-90 pitches. Stephenson is 1-4 with a 6.75 ERA and has been sidelined since surgery to remove scar tissue from a torn left hamstring in early June.

        This year, Stephenson is 1-4 with a 6.75 ERA. He missed all of the 2001 season after undergoing elbow surgery.

        “Hopefully the Mets will cooperate and he can get deep into it,” La Russa said. “Physically, he can throw that many.”

        Stephenson has thrown only 29 2-3 innings this season, and hasn't pitched since May 29. He's anxious to take to the mound and said he hasn't felt this good, physically, since the first two weeks of spring training.

        “I think about it every day,” Stephenson said. “I'll be in there watching video tomorrow. I'll just go out there, have good control, be aggressive, make them hit the ball and see what happens.”

        BRAVES: Atlanta placed All-Star left-handed reliever Mike Remlinger on the 15-day disabled list with a strained left groin.

        Remlinger (7-1) lost for the first time this season Wednesday night, a 6-3 defeat against Arizona. He gave up a single to Tony Womack in the Diamondbacks' three-run eighth inning, then left with the injury after throwing two pitches to David Dellucci.

        GIANTS: The San Francisco Giants claimed left-handed reliever Scott Eyre off waivers from Toronto on Thursday.

        Eyre was 1-2 with a 3.67 ERA in 46 relief appearances for the Blue Jays this season. Eyre pitched for the Chicago White Sox from 1997-2000, making 32 starts.

        The Giants are desperate for left-handed pitching, with Chad Zerbe and Troy Brohawn the only lefties in their bullpen. Eyre held left-handed hitters to a .218 average this season.

        To make room for Eyre on the 40-man roster, the Giants designated minor league left-hander Jason Pearson for assignment. Eyre was to join San Francisco on Friday for the start of a three-game series against Pittsburgh.

        TED WILLIAMS: Ted Williams' estate withdrew its request for a court to help resolve the dispute over his body, a victory for two children of the baseball great who want to keep it frozen.

        The estate's executor, Al Cassidy, said in court papers Thursday he's convinced the Hall of Famer wanted to be cryonically frozen and that a judge's guidance was no longer necessary.

        His youngest children, John Henry and Claudia Williams, say they and their father signed a handwritten pact in November 2000 agreeing their bodies would be frozen.

        Williams' eldest daughter, Bobby-Jo Williams Ferrell, believes her father wanted to be cremated and have his ashes scattered off the Florida coast, as he requested in his will.


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Jets 16, Steelers 6
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It's a hazing day of summer for rookie
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Hardcourt's best players ready for faceoff
'Mosquito' Ferrero stings Dent in 3 sets
Moya making most of comeback
Schuettler makes fans sit up, pay attention
Tennis Channel to test fans' interest
Delay aside, Switzer happy to enter Hall
Klecko following in father's footsteps
Miami hungers for 2nd No. 1
New Mexico State football player in critical condition
Two-year Purdue starting RB has no lock on spot
Lineup, new format announced for Coaches vs. Cancer Classic
New contract will keep Jurich at U of L through 2016
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