SEATTLE -- Seattle general manager Bill Bavasi wouldn't comment Thursday on reports that the team was close to landing Jose Vidro in a trade with the Washington Nationals.
Bavasi spoke with reporters at a press conference at Safeco Field to announce the signing of free-agent pitcher Miguel Batista to a three-year deal. He said that the Mariners would still like to add another bat to their lineup for next season.
Reports on Wednesday indicated that the Mariners were close to sending outfielder Chris Snelling and reliever Emiliano Fruto to the Nationals for the 31-year-old switch-hitting Vidro, who would become Seattle's designated hitter.
"We think we need one," Bavasi said. "We wanted at least one in the outfield. We've got to get a bat to keep innings going."
The Mariners landed that outfield bat at the start of the Winter Meetings last week when they signed free-agent outfielder Jose Guillen to a one-year deal. Guillen is slated to start the season in right field.
Vidro, who has been slowed by leg problems in each of the last two seasons, is said to have a physical scheduled on Friday.
Vidro is set to make $16 million over the next two seasons, though the Mariners, according to sources, would pick up $12 million of the remaining $16 million.
The Mariners would certainly hope to get more production from Vidro at the designated hitter position than they got from the three players they mostly used there last season -- Ben Broussard, Eduardo Perez and Carl Everett.
Everett was Seattle's Opening Day designated hitter but hit just .227 with 11 home runs and was designated for assignment in July.
The duo of Perez and Broussard -- obtained in separate deals from the Indians -- didn't fare well either. Perez hit .195 in 43 games with one home run, while Broussard hit .238 with eight home runs in 56 games.
Perez was not offered salary arbitration early this month, while Broussard was tendered a contract offer for next season. With the addition of Vidro, the Mariners could be looking to deal Broussard.
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.