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News » BORAS PLAYING DOUBLE AGENT\ M'S DRAFT PICK FIELDS, ANDERSON TWO OF HIS CLIENTS 2009-02-09


BORAS PLAYING DOUBLE AGENT\ M'S DRAFT PICK FIELDS, ANDERSON TWO OF HIS CLIENTS 2009-02-09


BORAS PLAYING DOUBLE AGENT\ M'S DRAFT PICK FIELDS, ANDERSON TWO OF HIS CLIENTS  2009-02-09
There's nothing agent Scott Boras would like to see more than to have his client Josh Fields sign with the Mariners.

Unless his client Garret Anderson signs with the Mariners.

Boras said Friday he has been talking with Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik about getting former University of Georgia closer Fields' name on a contract.

Fields was the Mariners' first pick in the June draft, the 20th pick overall, and the two sides have yet to see eye-to-eye on a signing bonus.

While those talks have been taking place, Boras has been plugging for Anderson, the longtime Angels outfielder who is one of six dozen free agents still on the market with the first workouts of spring training just a week away.

"They need him," Boras said succinctly Friday afternoon, "to give that team a representative middle of the lineup."

Mariners president Chuck Armstrong said this week that Anderson, 36, is under consideration, as are fellow free agents Bobby Abreu and Ken Griffey Jr. Boras points out that Anderson is a career .318 hitter against the Oakland A's and a career .301 hitter against the Texas Rangers, the teams that, along with the Angels and Mariners, compose the American League West.

"Garret knows the division's pitching," Boras said. "He hits the West well, and he's good for young hitters to be around and it's a good fit."

While the Mariners have an urgent need to find a left fielder, Abreu, who made $16 million with the New York Yankees last year, is far too costly unless the club can shed payroll elsewhere. So the Mariners' decision may well come down to Anderson or the 39-year-old Griffey, left-handed hitters with good track records and smaller financial expectations.

As for Fields, Boras said the 23-year-old right-hander is working out with the hope that he will be in spring training with the Mariners. But after a handful of talks in the past six weeks between Boras and Zduriencik, no agreement has been reached.

"We've talked of the general dynamics of the deal," Boras said. "We feel this is a player in the rare situation of being able to make an immediate impact on the big league club. That's not always the case."

When the Mariners drafted Fields last year, then-scouting guru Bob Fontaine said that as mature and game-tested as Field was, the club's scouts didn't think Fields would have to spend too much time in the minor leagues before being brought up to the big leagues.

Fontaine even said if Fields signed quickly, he could be in the big leagues by the September roster expansion.

That feeling may no longer exist in the front office. For one thing, Fontaine was part of the old regime that was swept out after a 101-loss season. For another, Fields didn't sign and hasn't pitched competitively since June, so it's going to take some time before he's back at his best level. And if Fields doesn't sign, the Mariners get the 22nd pick in the 2009 draft, so they won't leave the talks empty-handed if no deal is consummated. Fields was originally selected by the Atlanta Braves in the second round (69th overall) in the 2007 June draft, but choose to return to school.

The Mariners were hoping to sign Fields for something in the range of $1.5 million. Fields and Boras were looking for something closer to $2 million.

In the past, Boras has been willing to have his clients play in one of the independent leagues, hoping either to force a signing or to enable the client to go back into the draft.

"Those kinds of conversations have not begun," said Boras, noting that independent leagues don't start play until May, just a month before the next draft. "Josh is getting ready to go to spring training. We'll just have to see how it goes."

P-I reporter John Hickey can be reached at 206-448-8004 or johnhickey@seattlepi.com Read his Mariners blog at blog.seattlepi.com/Baseball.


Author:Fox Sports
Author's Website:http://www.foxsports.com
Added: February 9, 2009

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