Thursday, January 18, 2007

Brian Lawrence Soon To Be Back Among the Living

It wasn't so long ago that Brian Lawrence's sinker and cerebral approach to pitching had him winning 15 games for San Diego, where he was envisioned as a long-term staple at the back of the Padres rotation.

But a couple of down years and an injury or two, and the poor man's Greg Maddux all but found his picture on the side of milk cartons after being out for the entirety of last season with shoulder surgery while under contract with Washington.

Still, in a tight market where such mediocreties as Gil Meche and Ted Lilly command some $10 million a year, Lawrence, 31, finds himself back in demand. The former 17th round pick has whittled down a half dozen offers to a choice between the Rockies and -- according to the Seattle Post-Intelligencer -- the Mariners.

Seattle's rotation is among the weakest in the majors, with little to bank on beyond promising youngster Felix Hernandez, and not so promosing oldster Jarrod Washburn. Look for Lawrence to give a run for his money to Cha Seung Baek, who is penciled in at the No. 5 spot.