Mariners add Everett to DH, play some outfield
Chicago White Sox
A temperamental designated hitter with some offbeat opinions, Everett left the World Series champion Chicago White Sox and agreed Wednesday to a one-year contract with Seattle that guarantees him $4 million.
Mariners general manager Bill Bavasi said Everett "would break up any monotony or boredom."
"And that's good," Bavasi added.
Everett, who batted .251 with 23 home runs and 87 RBI for Chicago last season, gets a $3.4 million salary next year. The Mariners also have a club option for 2007 with a $600,000 buyout.
The switch-hitter earned $4 million last season with the White Sox. They declined their option on him Oct. 31, and he became a free agent.
Everett joins his eighth team in 14 major league seasons, his first west of Texas.
"I'll be taken out of my comfort zone," said Everett, a native of Tampa, Fla. "This will probably be the biggest challenge of my career. Coming out here, I'm about 2,505 miles away from home."
Seattle is banking on Everett filling a desperate need for left-handed hitting.
"Today we achieved one of our offseason goals," Bavasi said. "Carl Everett is a clutch-hitting run producer with power. As a switch-hitter, he provides our lineup with added versatility.
"His experience and intensity will be welcome additions to our clubhouse."
Bavasi said he and Mariners executives "analyzed" Everett's notorious past. Among other things, while Everett was with Boston from 2000-01, he said he did not believe in dinosaurs. That prompted the Boston media to nickname him "Jurassic Carl."
"Of course, I am not a person who will let you know me," Everett said Wednesday. "That tends to offend people.
"I am outspoken."
In 2001, Everett was fined for spitting and grabbing his crotch after he hit a home run off Seattle's Jamie Moyer.
Now, Moyer becomes a teammate.
"It was funny," Everett said, adding he and Moyer never discussed the incident. "It was just something that happened during the game."
Bavasi said all that paled to the strong endorsements he received from many who have played with Everett and managed him the last five years.
"He's not afraid to talk about what he thinks," Bavasi said. "I admire that.
"At the end of the day, it's how he plays between the white lines."
Everett repeatedly spoke of being someone who can motivate Seattle's players. The Mariners have lost 192 games combined the past two seasons. They are the first team since the 1916 Philadelphia Athletics to lose 90 games in consecutive seasons immediately after winning 90 in back-to-back years.
"They might just need a push," Everett said. "Hopefully, I can be that push."
Mariners manager Mike Hargrove said Everett will primarily be his DH, "but will also play some in our outfield."
"Having him in my lineup gives us some of the left-handed sock and run production we were looking for," Hargrove said.
Everett is one of six switch-hitters in major league history with a 100-RBI season in each league. He had 108 with Houston in 1999 and 108 with Boston in 2000. Bobby Bonilla, Eddie Murray, Ted Simmons, Ken Singleton and J.T. Snow are the others.
Everett is a lifetime .274 hitter with 191 homers and 759 RBIs in 1,313 games for Florida, the New York Mets, Houston, Boston, Texas, the White Sox and Montreal.
Bavasi said Seattle will also continue to seek more offense through trades.
Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press