|Friday, December 22
Mariners looking for some extra pop in lineup
ESPN.com news services
SEATTLE -- Second baseman Bret Boone is making a return trip to Seattle.
Pat Gillick, the Mariners' general manager, announced Friday that the team signed the free-agent second baseman. The deal was reported to be a one-year, $3.25 million contract. Boone can earn an additional $1 million in performance bonuses.
Boone, selected by the Mariners in the fifth round of the 1990 June draft, returns to Seattle after agreeing to a one-year contract covering the 2001 season.
A member of the major league's first three-generation family, Bret Boone, grandson of Ray, son of Bob and brother of Aaron (Cincinnati), hit .251 with 18 doubles, two triples and 74 RBI in 127 games for San Diego before a right knee contusion ended his 2000 season Aug. 26. The 74 RBI were the most ever by a Padres second baseman.
"We think Bret is a nice fit for our ballclub," Gillick said. "He's a proven run-producer who will add a little pop to our line-up while providing solid defense for our pitching staff."
Over the past three seasons (1998-2000) Bret averaged 31 doubles, 21 home runs and 77 RBI a year.
Boone, 29, has played with Seattle ('92-93), Cincinnati ('94-98), Atlanta ('99) and San Diego (2000) in his career, compiling a .255 average with 215 doubles, 14 triples, 125 home runs and 536 RBI. Boone led all National League second baseman in fielding percentage for three consecutive years (1995-1997), including setting a major league mark with a .997 fielding percentage in 1997.
Boone made his major league debut with Seattle in 1992, hitting .194, with four doubles, five home runs, and 15 RBI in 33 games. He hit .251, with 12 doubles, two triples, 12 home runs and 38 RBI in 76 games with the Mariners in 1993. Bret was traded, with pitcher Erik Hanson, to the Reds for Dan Wilson and right-hander Bobby Ayala in Nov. 3, 1993.
In another deal Friday, catcher Tom Lampkin decided to stay with the Mariners, agreeing to a $1.2 million, one-year contract.
Injuries limited Lampkin to 36 games last season. He hit .252 with six doubles, seven home runs and 23 RBI.
"I feel great and I'm looking forward to getting back out there," said Lampkin, who has played for the Indians, Padres, Brewers, Giants and Cardinals in an eight-year major league career.
Lampkin gets a $200,000 signing bonus and a $900,000 salary for next year. Seattle has a $1.25 million option with a $100,000 buyout, and the option year would become guaranteed if he plays in 75 games next year, has 200 plate appearances or does not go on the disabled list before June 15 for problems related to his right elbow.
Lampkin "gives us a strong left-handed bat either from the catcher's position or off the bench," Gillick said. "We're looking forward to his return next year."