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Seattle negotiates on several fronts

Corey Brock Tacoma News Tribune

DALLAS – There was surely no shortage of players linked to the Seattle Mariners on Tuesday, the second day of the baseball’s winter meetings at the Wyndam Anatole Hotel.

Want pitching? Boston’s Matt Clement, St. Louis’ Matt Morris and Cleveland’s Kevin Millwood and even Scott Elarton rank as more than blips on the Mariners’ radar.

Left-handed bats? The Mariners apparently have interest in Carl Everett (Chicago White Sox), Trot Nixon (Boston) Jeromy Burnitz (Chicago Cubs) and Jacque Jones (Minnesota).

Yes, a lot of talk – but no action yet.

Seattle general manager Bill Bavasi, in his daily briefing with local reporters, may have nailed down the most fitting description of day when he referred to it as the “same stuff.”

That could change soon enough, though. Even though the Mariners didn’t make any deals or swing any trades Tuesday, Bavasi said the team was active. “We had a couple of follow-up visits with clubs but nothing is pending.”

The most intriguing rumor of the day involved Everett.

USA Today Sports Weekly said the Mariners were expected to sign the 34-year-old switch hitter who hit .251 with 23 home runs and 87 RBI for the White Sox.

Everett – who reportedly met with Seattle on Monday – became a free agent when Chicago failed to pick up his $5 million option for 2006.

But Everett comes with baggage. He criticized gays in a Maxim magazine article in July and said that dinosaurs never existed because Adam and Eve were the first living things God created.

The Mariners started the day by asking about Clement and Nixon, two players who the Red Sox reportedly are shopping around to other teams, either as a pair or separately.

Clement was 13-6 with a 4.57 ERA in his first season in the American League after he spent the previous three seasons with the Cubs.

Clement, a 31-year-old right-hander, had 146 strikeouts in 191 innings.

Nixon is a 31-year-old left-handed hitting outfielder. He hit .275 last season with 13 home runs and 67 RBI in 124 games. He missed time with a strained oblique.

Both of those players would satisfy Bavasi’s desire for a frontline starter and a left-handed hitter with power.

The problem is the Mariners might not have enough to give Boston back, unless they choose to pursue Clement or Nixon further. They would almost certainly have to part with a minor league prospect to land either.

For pitching, a source said the Mariners offered Morris a three-year deal worth about $18 million before coming to Dallas. It’s not known if that offer has been revisited.

As for Millwood, Bavasi met with Millwood’s agent, Scott Boras. Team officials denied making an offer to the right-hander who led the American League in ERA. But a source said an initial offer of four years and $44 million was offered.

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