Mariners agree to terms with Everett

Mariners agree to terms with Everett

The Mariners struck the free-agent market for the first time this offseason and got one of the pieces they were looking for in their hopes of getting back into contention in the American League West.

As had been rumored since last week's Winter Meetings, Seattle signed outfielder/designated hitter Carl Everett to a one-year contract with a club option for 2007.

"Today we achieved one of our offseason goals," Mariners general manager Bill Bavasi said.

"Carl Everett is a clutch-hitting run producer with power. As a switch-hitter, he provides our lineup with added versatility. Carl is a winner, most recently as a member of the 2005 World Series champion Chicago White Sox. His experience and intensity will be welcome additions to our clubhouse."

"He's not afraid to compete and play hard between the white lines ... When you talk to people in clubhouses who have played with this guy, you hear great things."

The Mariners will hope Everett provides them with the left-handed pop they have been after since the end of their disappointing 2005 season.

They also hope he'll be a positive influence on the Mariners, which the outspoken, opinionated and sometimes hot-tempered Everett said he'll try to do through his will to win.

"They might just need a push," Everett said of the Mariners, who have lost 192 games over the last two seasons. "Hopefully, I can be that push."

Everett, 34, batted .251 with 23 home runs and 87 RBIs in 135 regular-season games for the White Sox, including 107 starts as the DH. He did not make an error over 22 starts in the outfield last year.

In the playoffs, Everett hit a combined .300 (12-for-40) with five runs and three RBIs as the White Sox steamrolled through the AL Division Series, AL Championship Series and World Series, going 11-1 and bringing the first Fall Classic title back to the South Side since 1917.

Everett also had a healthy season in 2005 after being banged up in 2004. Everett had 490 at-bats last season and came close to the 28 homers and 92 RBIs he put up in 2003 as a member of the Texas Rangers.

Everett hit 18 of his 23 homers and drove in 59 of his 87 runs left-handed last year, and his RBI ratio of one run batted in for every 5.63 at-bats ranked 12th in the AL.

Everett figures to fit into the 2006 Mariners as the primary DH and will most likely spell Raul Ibanez in left field from time to time.

"Having him in my lineup gives us some of the left-handed sock and run production we were looking for," Mariners manager Mike Hargrove said.

Everett has played on three playoff teams (Houston, 1998-99; White Sox, 2005) in his career and hit. .444 (4-for-9) during Chicago's World Series sweep of the Astros.

Everett is one of six switch-hitters in Major League history (and the only player to accomplish the feat in successive seasons) to record 100 RBIs in each league (108 with Houston in 1999 and Boston in 2000), joining Bobby Bonilla, Eddie Murray, Ted Simmons, Ken Singleton and J.T. Snow.

Overall, Everett has a lifetime Major League batting average of .274 with 191 home runs and 759 RBIs over 1,313 games. Since 2000, he has played 699 of his 708 games in the AL, batting .273 with 120 home runs and 428 RBIs.

Now that the Mariners have Everett in the fold, they will look to tackle the second piece of their Christmas shopping list: the search for one or two starting pitchers.

Right-hander Kevin Millwood and lefty Jarrod Washburn are two names that have been linked to the Mariners in published reports, and it's also possible that Seattle could work a trade for an arm or more offense.

Doug Miller is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.