Slugger Richie Sexson was released Thursday by the Seattle Mariners after a slump that lasted for most of two seasons and made him a target of constant booing from fans.
Any trade involving Sexson, batting .218 in 74 games, was nearly impossible because of his $14-million salary. So now the Mariners are eating the rest of that money -- he is owed $6,120,219 from today through the end of the season.
"I think we gave Richie a lot of rope . . . and there just wasn't enough improvement," said Lee Pelekoudas, the Mariners' interim general manager.
The Mariners also put opening-day starter Erik Bedard on the 15-day disabled list because of stiffness in his left shoulder. Bedard will be eligible to return July 20 but will miss some chances to be showcased for teams interested in trading for him before the July 31 deadline.
The Pittsburgh Pirates traded former starting outfielder Craig Wilson to the Mariners for a player to be named. Wilson was hitting .230 with 10 homers and 27 runs batted in at triple-A Indianapolis.
The Pirates also acquired right-hander Dan Reichert and infielder-outfielder Ryan Mulhern from the Cleveland Indians, also for a player to be named.
Tampa Bay Rays rookie third baseman Evan Longoria and Milwaukee Brewers outfielder Corey Hart were elected All-Stars by fans in Internet balloting. Colorado's Matt Holliday will replace injured Chicago Cubs outfielder Alfonso Soriano in the National League starting lineup. . . . Toronto Blue Jays outfielder Vernon Wells is expected to be out four to six weeks because of a strained left hamstring after being put on the 15-day disabled list. . . . Arizona Diamondbacks outfielder Justin Upton probably will be sidelined through the All-Star break because of a strained muscle in his side.