SEATTLE - The Seattle Mariners have agreed to pay veteran free agent right hander Miguel Batista more than $24 million in a three-year contract, according to newspaper reports published Tuesday.
The Seattle Times, Seattle Post-Intelligencer and The News Tribune of Tacoma reported that the deal will be announced after the 35-year-old pitcher passes a physical examination.
Officials at Kansas City and St. Louis, which also had been bidding for Batista, told The News Tribune they had been advised that he had come to terms with Seattle.
Mariners officials did not return telephone calls to The Associated Press on Monday night.
Completion of the deal will make Batista the second starting pitcher added by Mariners in less than a week following the acquisition of Horacio Ramirez from the Atlanta Braves in a trade for reliever Rafael Soriano.
The Post-Intelligencer and The Times reported that Batista would receive more than $24 million, while The News Tribune gave the value as $27 million. All quoted unnamed sources close to the talks.
Earlier, Batista reportedly rejected a three-year, $24 million offer from the Kansas City Royals.
Contacted by The Times while on a speaking tour of schools in the Boston area, Batista said he was waiting to hear from the Mariners about arrangement for a physical.
"They're supposed to call me back and tell me when and where to do it," he said.
Batista said he met with Seattle general manager Bill Bavasi two weeks ago in his native Dominican Republic.
"The first thing I told him is, 'Let's get this out of the way right now: I don't pitch with my birth certificate, so don't bring up my age,'" he said. "I've only been hurt once in my entire career. You can rely on me because I will always be there to take the ball."
Batista has worked for seven major league teams - Pittsburgh, Florida, Chicago Cubs, Montreal, Kansas City, Arizona and Toronto - over 12 seasons and has a lifetime record of 68-79 with a 4.46 ERA, including 11-8 with a 4.58 ERA last season in his second stint with the Diamondbacks.
He has appeared mainly as a starter but also earned 31 saves as Toronto's closer in 2005.