Sources: M’s, Saunders reach deal
The Seattle Mariners aren’t just focused on locking up ace right-hander Felix Hernandez with a seven-year, $175 million contract.
The team also has reached agreement with free-agent left-hander Joe Saunders on a one-year, $6.5 million deal, according to major-league sources.
Saunders can earn additional $1 million in incentives and the deal includes a mutual option for 2014.
The deal is pending a physical, sources said.
Saunders, 31, will replace lefty Jason Vargas, whom the Mariners traded to the Los Angeles Angels in December for first baseman/DH Kendrys Morales.
The Baltimore Orioles were among the other teams that had interest in Saunders, whose initial desire was for a three-year deal.
Saunders began last season with the Arizona Diamondbacks before getting traded to Baltimore for reliever Matt Lindstrom on Aug. 26.
An eight-year veteran, Saunders finished the season 9-13 with a 4.07 ERA in 174 2/3 innings. He is 78-65 with a 4.15 ERA lifetime.