Mariners acquire Broussard from Tribe
Club sends Minor League outfielder Shin-Soo Choo to Indians
SEATTLE -- The Mariners on Wednesday landed Ben Broussard, a left-handed hitter who plays a mean acoustic guitar and has released his own CD.
Given the obvious lack of production they've received from the designated hitter position this season, the Mariners surely will be delighted if Broussard creates more hits with his swing than his guitar.
On the day they designated Carl Everett for assignment, the Mariners added Broussard, a .312 hitter with the Cleveland Indians who is victimizing right-handed pitching at a .362 clip.The Mariners traded Minor League outfielder Shin-Soo Choo and a player to be named to the Indians for the 29-year-old Broussard and cash considerations. The Mariners entered Wednesday's game against the Blue Jays with 11 home runs (tied for 10th in the American League) and 43 RBIs (tied for 11th) from their designated hitters this season. "[Broussard] is simply an upgrade to the left-handed side of the DH," Seattle general manager Bill Bavasi said. "We've been looking for a left-handed bat that can provide average and production, and Ben certainly has done that this season." Broussard and Eduardo Perez -- acquired on June 30 from the Indians where he, oddly enough, split time with Broussard -- will give a formidable lefty-righty platoon at designated hitter. "I've always like Ben Broussard," said Mariners manager Mike Hargrove, who watched Broussard in Cleveland in 2004 when he was special assistant to the general manager. "I've always liked the way he's swung the bat. He brings some pop from that side and drives the ball." Everett was hitting .227 overall and .179 since June 1 with 11 home runs and 33 RBIs. But the 35-year-old couldn't recapture his timing at the plate after the Mariners embarked on a nine-game Interleague road trip in June. During that trip, Everett had eight at-bats in nine games and hit just .169 (12-for-71) after June 20. With the switch-hitting Everett batting .186 from the right side of the plate, Seattle acquired Perez to DH against left-handed pitchers. Now enter Broussard, who will join the Mariners on Friday in Cleveland, where he'll walk to the visiting clubhouse instead of the one he's frequented since he joined the Indians in 2002. "It's one of the most bizarre things, I've never been in that clubhouse," said Broussard. "It's kind of strange when you get traded. But things weren't going that well for us in Cleveland. I'm excited. I'm hoping I can come in and help out."
And not just for this season, as Broussard, while eligible for salary arbitration after this season, won't be eligible for free agency until after the 2008 season."It's a good move for the organization," Perez said. "He's a player who knows his role. It's a good addition. He's got good power and uses the whole field. We're getting an offensive player." The Mariners certainly need that, especially after Everett slipped into a considerable funk at the plate in June and never quite recovered. Everett was in the home clubhouse before Thursday's game but didn't speak to reporters. "I think Interleague Play hurt him," Bavasi said. "Up until then, he had done a good job with us. He was good in the clubhouse and good with our younger players. But when we didn't play him, he lost his timing and never regained it." The Mariners are hoping for just the opposite from Broussard, who reached a career-high 19 home runs with the Indians last season, driving in 68 runs a year after he knocked in a career-best 82 runs. "He was having a great year. Benny is a guy who's always had streaks where he showed potential," Cleveland general manager Mark Shapiro said. "I still think Benny's potential is even greater." And not so bad with the guitar, either. Last year, Broussard -- who has played guitar and written songs since high school -- released a 12-song CD called "Ben Broussard," which is, as he describes it, acoustic rock and "pretty mellow." To get Broussard, the Mariners parted with Choo, who had two stints with the Mariners, including an 11-at-bat stretch this month, recording one hit. And with the promotion of 20-year-old center fielder Adam Jones, Choo didn't figure prominently in the team's future plans. The Indians will also receive a player to be named -- a Minor League player -- by Aug. 31 to complete the deal. Bavasi was asked if the addition of Broussard completed Seattle's trade-deadline wish list -- especially with the non-waiver trading deadline looming on Monday. He shook his head. "We can do more, we're not done trying," Bavasi said. "The one thing we've kept in mind is our division is still wide open. There are maybe some big fish out there, but we're going to be careful who we move."
Corey Brock is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.