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View Full Version : Sexson released, Bedard on DL



cincrazy
07-10-2008, 03:54 PM
http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=3481747


SEATTLE -- The sunken Seattle Mariners finally released slugger Richie Sexson after a slump that lasted for most of two seasons and made him a target of constant booing from frustrated fans.

The team also on Thursday placed Opening Day starter Erik Bedard on the 15-day disabled list.

The Mariners would have loved to have been able to trade Sexson, but his $14 million salary this season made that nearly impossible. So now Seattle is eating the rest of that money in what may be the first of multiple moves to rid the last-place team of underperforming veteran players.

The Mariners, bolstered by a player payroll of $117 million, expected to reach their first postseason since 2001. Instead they entered Thursday's game at Oakland at 36-55, 18 games out in the AL West. Seattle has already fired general manager Bill Bavasi and manager John McLaren and remains on track to become the first team with a $100 million payroll to lose 100 games.

The Mariners placed Bedard on the 15-day disabled list with stiffness in his left shoulder. The move, retroactive to July 5, means Bedard will be eligible to return on July 20 -- and will miss some chances to be showcased for teams interested in possibly trading for him before the July 31 deadline for deals without waivers. Bedard has just six wins in 15 starts and has not pitched since going five innings on July 4, extending his trend of not being able to pitch deep into games.

To fill the roster spots of Bedard and Sexson, Seattle recalled right-hander Jared Wells and selected the contract of infielder Tug Hulett from Triple-A Tacoma.

Sexson, a 33-year-old native of Brush Prairie, Wash., was batting .218 with just 30 RBIs in 74 games and has often been benched in favor of light-hitting and seldom-used Miguel Cairo. McLaren, on his way out last month, said Sexson was trying too hard and that a change of teams probably would be best for his sagging career.

Even during his 39- and 34-home run seasons for the Mariners in 2005 and '06, Sexson wasn't embraced by Seattle fans since arriving from Arizona with a four-year, $50 million contract on Dec. 15, 2004. Two days later, Adrian Beltre signed to overshadow Sexson.

Then came last season.

He hit a career-worst .205 with 21 homers and 100 strikeouts in '07, which ended with the Mariners mercifully shutting him down for the final weeks of September with a relatively minor leg injury.

He had the lowest on-base percentage (.295) of his career. His batting average was the lowest in the major leagues among those with at least 312 at bats. That would be fine with Seattle -- he has always been a slugger, not a hitter for average -- except Sexson's run production was also a career low for a full season not cut short by major injury.

This season brought more of the same. As of late last month, he had the lowest batting average of all regulars in the AL since the beginning of the '07 season.

Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press