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Originally published January 16, 2007 at 12:00 AM | Page modified January 16, 2007 at 11:16 PM

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M's work out deals with Broussard, Ramirez

The Seattle Mariners avoided salary arbitration with designated hitter/first baseman Ben Broussard, agreeing today to a $3.55 million, one-year contract.

The Associated Press

SEATTLE – Left-hander Horacio Ramirez worked out a deal with his new team, agreeing Tuesday to a $2.65 million, one-year contract with the Seattle Mariners.

Ramirez was acquired from Atlanta on Dec. 7 for hard-throwing right-handed reliever Rafael Soriano. The 27-year-old Ramirez is expected to be part of Seattle's starting rotation that lacks a front-line standout.

"After last season, I had a feeling I was going to get traded," said Ramirez, who was in town this week touring Seattle along with new designated hitter Jose Vidro. "I just had a feeling it was going to be me. It turned out right."

Also avoiding salary arbitration on Tuesday was designated hitter/first baseman Ben Broussard, who agreed to a $3.55 million, one-year contract. Seattle's only remaining arbitration eligible player is closer J.J. Putz, who asked for $3.6 million and was offered $2.6 million.

Ramirez went 5-5 with a 4.48 ERA in 14 starts last year, making three trips to the disabled list. But he's shown promise in the past when healthy, winning 12 games as a rookie in 2003 and surpassing 200 innings two years later.

Ramirez was hit in the head by a liner last season, off the bat of Lance Berkman, which caused him to miss a start. A sprained middle finger sidelined Ramirez for most of the final two months.

"The injuries I had last year were a bit of fluke injuries," Ramirez said. "It was frustrating for me. I never felt like I could get on a good roll."

Ramirez made $2.2 million last year.

Ramirez should join Jarrod Washburn as the lefties in Seattle's rotation. The rest of the group will be rounded out by young right-hander Felix Hernandez, veteran Miguel Batista and either lefty Jake Woods or righty Cha Seung Baek.

Vidro, Seattle's newly acquired DH, believes Seattle's offense will be able to makeup for the lack of a front-line ace. "We're going to score runs, we're going to need the pitching staff to support," Vidro said. "And I think that's great to see that (GM Bill Bavasi) went out and got some pretty good pitchers."

Vidro was acquired from Washington in December with the intention of the switch-hitter becoming Seattle's full-time DH and solve inconsistencies at that position a year ago. Vidro is a three-time All-Star and career .301 hitter, but hasn't hit .300 since 2003.

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But he should be an improvement over last year, when Seattle had five players with at least 10 at bats as a DH: Everett, Broussard, Eduardo Perez, Mike Morse and Richie Sexson. The Mariners were last among AL DHs in slugging percentage (.358), on-base percentage (.298) and runs (65) and next-to-last in average (.233), doubles (21) and RBIs (65).

Broussard was acquired by the Mariners from Cleveland on July 26 for outfielder Shin-Soo Choo. Broussard was brought in to be the left-handed DH after Carl Everett struggled and was released.

But Broussard also struggled in his new surroundings, hitting just .238 with eight homers and 17 RBIs after arriving in Seattle. Against right-handed pitchers, Broussard hit only .230 after thriving against righties in Cleveland with a .360 average.

Broussard made $2,487,500 last season.

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