Reports: Mariners trade Soriano for Braves starter

Updated: December 7, 2006, 1:37 AM ET
ESPN.com news services

The Mariners found a way to prop up a pitching rotation in desperate need of help, agreeing to trade hard-throwing reliever Rafael Soriano to Atlanta for left-hander Horacio Ramirez, several media outlets reported Wednesday.

The Mariners are expected to announce the deal soon.

"There were physicals, but they're all done and it's going through," a major-league front-office source told the Seattle Times.

The 27-year-old Ramirez's ability to stay healthy has been an issue.

He won 12 games and had a 4.00 ERA as a rookie starter for Atlanta in 2003. Since then, he's been derailed by injuries. After winning 11 games in 2005, Ramirez was 5-5 with a 4.48 ERA during a 2006 season in which he had a hamstring problem, took a line drive off his head and suffered a pulled tendon in his finger.

Soriano was 1-2 with a 2.25 ERA in 53 appearances last season. He was hit by a line drive on Aug. 29 and suffered a concussion. He worked to return but the Mariners shut him down midway through September when he still complained of headaches and dizzines. His CT scans were normal, however.

The Braves might have made the deal knowing that left-hander Mike Hampton will be completely healthy for the start of the season. Hampton, who missed all of the 2006 season after undergoing left elbow surgery in September 2005, started throwing last September.

"Hampton's a quality starter. He's still young and he's got a new arm and we saw him throw in the instructional league," Braves manager Bobby Cox said. "I plan on him being in the starting rotation. We are really happy with his progress. With his competitiveness and passion for the game, we are looking for good things."

Atlanta received a scare when Hampton felt something pop during an instructional league outing this fall, but the team was relieved to find it was just scar tissue.

"He came out after 1 2/3 innings, didn't face the last hitter," Cox said. "He popped an adhesion, so you know it was nothing -- it is normal they tell me, very normal. So he got that sort of out of his system ahead of the ballgame."

Information from The Associated Press and SportsTicker was used in this report.