Another offensive upgrade for the Mariners is to be finalized later this week when Jose Vidro joins the team as its full-time designated hitter.
The Mariners have agreed to acquire the three-time All-Star second baseman from the Washington Nationals for outfielder Chris Snelling and relief pitcher Emiliano Fruto. The Nationals have agreed to pay $4 million of the $16 million owed Vidro the next two seasons.
"I think this is the best deal for me," Vidro said in a telephone interview tonight from his home in Puerto Rico. "By me becoming the DH it will give me the chance to focus exclusively on my hitting and not have to worry about all that other stuff."
Vidro, 32, has been hampered by injuries the past two seasons, which has cut into his playing time and productivity. He hit .289 with seven home runs and 47 RBI last season in 126 games. In 2005, he played just 87 games, hitting .275 with seven home runs and 32 RBI. He is a career .301 hitter in 10 seasons.
The promise of being able to play every day as the Mariners' DH is what convinced Vidro to take Seattle off his list of teams he could not be traded to. Vidro said he expects to take a physical on Friday, after which the deal will become official.
Snelling, 25, has been one of the Mariners' top hitting prospects for several years, but has been limited by injuries to 152 at-bats in parts of three seasons with the Mariners. Fruto, a 22-year-old right-hander, pitched in 23 games last season for the Mariners. He was 2-2 with a 5.50 ERA in 36 innings.