"Miguel is a competitor first and foremost, and he knows what it takes to be on a winning club," Mariners manager Mike Hargrove said. "It's exciting anytime you can acquire a pitcher who wants the baseball. Miguel has proven time and time again in his career that he'll do whatever it takes to help his team win, and that's a positive aspect going into 2007."Batista, who was 11-8 with a 4.58 ERA in 34 starts last season, is mostly a ground-ball pitcher who feels that he will benefit from Seattle's strong infield defense -- especially on the left side with third baseman Adrian Beltre and Betancourt. "Defensively," he said, "they're supposed to be one of the best." When he's not pitching, Batista is a published author, having written a crime novel called "The Avenger of Blood," a book that took him five years to finish. The signing of Batista on Thursday gives the Mariners that second starting pitcher they were looking for in the offseason. Last week, the Mariners added left-hander Horacio Ramirez in a trade with Atlanta for reliever Rafael Soriano. Bavasi wouldn't say one way or the other if the Mariners were done making upgrades to their starting rotation, which currently includes Batista, Hernandez, Ramirez, Jarrod Washburn and either Jake Woods, Cha Seung Baek or Ryan Feierabend. Bavasi did indicate on Thursday that the bullpen is an area the team would like to address. He said that right-handed reliever Mark Lowe, who had elbow surgery in October, will likely be out until at least after the All-Star break.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.Less