Mariners sign OF Lawton to one-year contract
SEATTLE (Ticker) - Matt Lawton will attempt to reconstruct his career in the “Emerald City.”
The Seattle Mariners agreed to terms with Lawton on a one-year contract Thursday with the hopes that the two-time All-Star can clean up his image and regain his form.
Financial terms were not disclosed, but MLB.com is reporting the deal to include a $400,000 base salary with incentives that could increase the value to $1.25 million.
However, Lawton likely will be remembered for becoming the 12th player to be suspended under baseball’s policy against performance-enhancing drugs. The suspension, which was announced by Major League Baseball on November 2, will cost Lawton the first 10 games of the 2006 season.
“Matt is a solid lefthanded hitter and base stealer who will provide us with depth and flexibility,” Mariners general manager Bill Bavasi said. “He can help us in a variety of roles, including the ability to play all three outfield positions.”
While Lawton’s numbers were respectable last season, his performance largely was considered a disappointment - especially at the last two stops.
Lawton hit just .244 (19-for-78) with one home run in 19 games with the Cubs before being traded August 27 to the Yankees, for whom he batted just .125 (6-for-48) with two homers in 21 games before being left off their postseason roster.
An 11-year veteran, Lawton is a career .267 hitter with 138 homers, 630 RBI and 165 stolen bases.
The Mariners, who finished with a 69-93 record last season, also signed designated hitter Carl Everett earlier this month to add pop to a lineup that includes sluggers Richie Sexson and Adrian Beltre.
Seattle ranked 26th in the major leagues with a .256 team batting average, 25th with 130 home runs and 21st with a .260 average with runners in scoring position.