Indians send Perez to Mariners for minor leaguer

Updated: June 30, 2006, 11:44 PM ET
Associated Press

SEATTLE -- The red-hot Seattle Mariners think they can win the AL West and they're ready to make some trades to accomplish that.

First Base
Cleveland Indians

Profile
2006 SEASON STATISTICS
GM HR RBI R OBP AVG
37 8 22 16 .343 .303

The Mariners acquired first baseman Eduardo Perez from Cleveland on Friday, sending Triple-A shortstop Asbrudal Cabrera to the Indians.

Used primarily against left-handers, the 36-year-old Perez batted .303 with eight homers and 22 RBI in 37 games in his first season with Cleveland.

In Seattle, Perez will be platooned with Carl Everett, 35, as the team's designated hitter. Everett will bat against right-handers. Perez also can play third base, first base and in left field, general manager Bill Bavasi said before the team opened a nine-game homestand against Colorado.

Bavasi said the Mariners' players brought about the trade by playing so strongly in June.

"We really have to try to get behind them and try to make the club better," Bavasi said. "Right now, we felt it was important not to pass on a deal like this. Will we look to do more? Yeah."

Asked specifically where the Mariners needed more help, Bavasi replied, "That's a hard question to answer because I don't want to."

Bavasi said Friday's trade will make Everett, who was signed as a free agent by Seattle in December, a better player.

"It should help him stay fresh," Bavasi said.

In 75 games with the Mariners this season, Everett is hitting .241 with nine home runs and 28 RBI.

In Cabrera, the Mariners traded a 20-year-old slick fielder who can play shortstop or second base. Cabrera was the regular shortstop at Tacoma in the Pacific Coast League this season.

But the Mariners feel confident they're well set at shortstop in the majors because they have Yuniesky Betancourt there and Betancourt is only 24.

Bavasi said Michael Garciaparra will move over from second base to shortstop in Tacoma, with the departure of Cabrera.

"We gave them a pretty good player," Bavasi said. He said the trade happened now instead of just before the July 31 trading deadline "because we came across with a pretty good player."

Seattle manager Mike Hargrove said he didn't go to Bavasi and ask for more help for his team's offense, but he gladly accepted the addition of Perez.

"I think this move is a good, solid move that makes our club better," Hargrove said. "Now, we'll have to see how it pans out."

The Indians signed Perez to a one-year, $1.7 million deal in January.

Cabrera batted .236 with 22 RBI in 60 games at Triple-A Tacoma. He didn't make an error in his first 36 games and led PCL shortstops in fielding percentage.


Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press