ANAHEIM, Calif. -- The Seattle Mariners were finalizing a deal with slugger Richie Sexson that would leave the Baltimore Orioles, who also pursued the free-agent slugger at baseball's winter meetings, out of the running for the first baseman.
A baseball official told The Associated Press that Sexson will have additional medical tests before Seattle finalizes his contract.
The Baltimore Sun, however, reported in Wednesday's editions that Sexson passed his physical exam Tuesday and an announcement on a four-year, $48 million agreement with the Mariners could come as early as Wednesday morning. The newspaper reported that the Orioles' best offer to Sexson was in the neighborhood of four years and $45 million.
Despite having one of the sport's premier offensive forces in leadoff hitter Ichiro Suzuki, the Mariners struggled to score runs en route to a 99-loss season in 2004. General manager Bill Bavasi has been among the more active executives at the winter meetings, trying to add a bat to the middle of a lineup that was last in the league in runs scored.
In Sexson, Seattle would add a power hitter coming off a serious left shoulder injury. The Mariners do have the option of playing him at first base or in the outfield if he shows he can handle it physically.
Sexson, who will turn 30 on Dec. 29, spent last season with the Arizona Diamondbacks and had nine homers and 23 RBI in 23 games before being injured. Over the previous five seasons, he averaged 36 homers and 112 RBI.
The 6-foot-8 Sexson, who was raised in Vancouver, Washington, is a career .271 hitter with 200 homers and 616 RBI in parts of eight seasons with Cleveland, Milwaukee and Arizona.
The New York Mets had expressed a strong interest in Sexson.
Information from SportsTicker and The Associated Press was used in this report.