12/15/2004 5:31 PM ET
Mariners sign Richie Sexson
Washington native inks four-year deal
Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Bill Bavasi announced today that the club has agreed to terms on a four-year contract with Richie Sexson. Per club policy, terms of the deal were not disclosed.
"We have stated from the outset that our primary goal this off-season was to add offense," Bavasi said. "Richie was one of the premier free agents available on the market and we are extremely pleased to be able to add him to our club for 2005 and beyond."
Sexson has 200 career home runs and has averaged 32 home runs and 94 RBI per season over the past four years, despite being limited to 9 home runs and 23 RBI in 23 games in 2004. On April 28, he suffered a subluxation of his left shoulder and a slight tear of his labrum while attempting to check his swing. The injury snapped Sexson's string of 1,642 consecutive innings played over 182 consecutive games dating back to the 2003 season. He was on the disabled list from April 29-May 20, only the second DL stint of his career, before re-injuring the shoulder and returning to the DL on May 23. He underwent arthroscopic surgery on June 4 and missed the remainder of the year.
"I am very excited about coming home to play for the Mariners," Sexson said. "My preference all along was to sign with Seattle and to return to the Northwest. I feel great and I am looking forward to getting back on the field."
The 6-foot-8, 237-pound right-handed hitter is a Northwest native who currently resides in Vancouver, WA. Richie, who turns 30 on December 29, was born in Portland, OR and graduated from Prairie High School in Brush Prairie, WA in 1993. While in high school he earned all-state honors in football, basketball and baseball. He was drafted by Cleveland in the 24th round of the 1993 June draft.
"Any time you add a hitter with numbers like Richie has produced over his career it helps to legitimize your line-up," Mariners manager Mike Hargrove said. "Richie is a proven middle-of-your-order hitter and one of the better power and production hitters of the last four years. He is the first big piece of what we are trying to do here and I am extremely happy to have him signed and in Seattle."
Richie has played with Cleveland (1997-2000), Milwaukee (2000-2003) and Arizona in his eight-year Major League career, including playing under Mike Hargrove from 1997-1999. He owns a career .271 average with 154 doubles, 16 triples, 200 home runs and 616 RBI in 836 games.