Ibanez activated from 15-day DL

Updated: July 10, 2004, 7:48 PM ET
Associated Press

CHICAGO -- The slumping Seattle Mariners designated shortstop Rich Aurilia for assignment on Saturday and activated Raul Ibanez from the 15-day disabled list.

Aurilia was hitting .241 for the Mariners with four home runs and 28 RBI in 73 games. He signed a one-year contract with the Mariners in the offseason after eight years with the San Francisco Giants.

The club has 10 days to release, trade or send Aurilia outright to the minors. If he is released, Seattle would be responsible to the remainder of his $3.15 million salary.

"The writing was on the wall for something to happen," Aurilia said. "Of course, no player ever wants to hear the word 'designated' or 'release,' but ... this could be the best thing that happened."

He led the NL in home runs and RBI by a shortstop in three consecutive seasons (1999-2001) and hit .324 in an All-Star season in 2001.

The Mariners entered their game Saturday night against the White Sox having lost a season-high seven straight and they are 20 games under .500 for the first time since Aug. 5, 1994.

Mariners manager Bob Melvin expects to see more of an overhaul as the season progresses.

"I think everybody is in the agreement this isn't something that anybody wants to see go on much longer than this," Melvin said. "We are losing with a bunch of veteran guys here and we don't have much energy out there. We are probably a little slower than we should be, we don't have as much power as we should have. We are seeing a lot deficiencies that we need to take care of."

Ibanez was placed on the disabled list June 4 due to a strained right hamstring. He injured his leg trying to beat out a bunt on June 2. He is hitting .268 with 11 homers in 51 games for the Mariners this season.

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press