Report: Sexson to Seattle

Richie Sexson is close to signing with the Mariners, according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer, which first reported the story on Sunday evening. Sexson, a Washington native, will immediately upgrade the heart of the Mariners order, but first needs to pass a physical before the deal is complete.

Sexson will turn 30 on Dec. 29 and is entering the prime of his career, but he's coming off an injury-marred 2004 season in which he played only 23 games for Arizona due to a shoulder injury.

Sunday, the Seattle P-I was able to confirm from a Mariners team offical, speaking on the condition of anonymity, that the M's had come to terms with the slugger.

Details of the contract were not immediately made available.

Sexson's stock likely rose in Seattle's book on Sunday after the team met with his agent, Casey Close, a day earlier. That, combined with the high contract demands of fellow free agent slugger, Carlos Delgado, may have shifted the M's attention to Sexson.

In prior weeks, M's officials have maintained that there is a chance the club could sign both Sexson and Delgado. But with Sexson already signed on the dotted line, Seattle may concentrate on free agent third baseman Adrian Beltre in hopes of further bolstering their lineup for years to come.

Sexson, a rangy 6-foot-8 towering presence at the plate, has averaged 39 home runs, 119 RBI and a .271 batting average in his eight major league seasons.

According to the P-I, no announcement was made Sunday night - in fact, no team took the podium on the last full day of baseball's winter meetings - and the deal might not be announced until the M's contingent returns to Seattle.

Stay tuned to in the coming days as more details come in.

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