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Mariners blog

Daily coverage of the Mariners during the season and all year long.

December 12, 2007 at 9:07 PM

Ben Broussard traded to Texas

The Mariners shipped Ben Broussard off to the Texas Rangers within the past hour, receiving minor league infielder Tug Hulett in return. Hulett spent last season in Class AAA at age 24, playing second base as his primary position despite also seeing action at third base as a minor leaguer.
The M’s bid farewell to reliever John Parrish, but did tender a contract to lefty pitcher Horacio Ramirez.
“I’m just in a state of disbelief right now,” Broussard said moments ago from his home in Texas, about two hours from where the Rangers play. “I get to play two hours from where my wife and kids live. This is a dream. It’s like getting to play for the hometown team.”
Broussard had been quietly seething throughout 2007 about a lack of playing time. But he praised the Mariners for making the deal they did and getting him the chance to play more often with the Rangers.
‘It seems like they took care of me,” he said. “I wasn’t going to get a chance to play often up there so they did what they could for me.”
Broussard mentioned that the July 31 trade deadline had been tough on him and his wife, who was preganant with their second daughter at the time. “I kept dreading that I might get traded,” he said. “I had my wife and daughter back home and that was bad enough. But then i thought I might wind up in Boston, or someplace else. With this here, it’s a great outcome because I’ll be real close to my family.”
I agree with those of you who say the team kept Ramirez partly because of uncertainty over whether or not it will sign free-agent Hiroki Kuroda or trade for Erik Bedard. Both those fronts remain unresolved as of tonight.
The acquisition of Hulett also appears to send a clear message to Jose Lopez that he’ll be expected to pick up the pace in 2008. Hulett played most of his games at second base last season, hitting out of the No. 2 spot.
He does know how to draw walks and had a .357 on-base percentage, which is loads better than what Lopez did — albeit one was at Class AAA ball, the other in the majors. Still, it’s an interesting “push” to give Lopez. Hulett is only 24 and can also play some third base, so he’ll be vying for at least a backup infielder’s job at spring training. If he does some special things down in Peoria, he might even push Lopez for playing time.
Does this mean Lopez will be traded? I don’t see that happening right away. Hulett was a minor leaguer. It’s not like he had an on-base-plus-slugging percentage of .900 or anything that would beg he be thrown in there. Like I said, this smacks of a “push” move towards jumpstarting Lopez.

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