Vidro Trade Still Pending Physicals

By Barry Svrluga
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, December 15, 2006

The Washington Nationals' impending trade of second baseman Jose Vidro to Seattle for a pair of prospects will hold for at least another day as Vidro's physical was set for today in Miami.

The Nationals are set to receive outfielder Chris Snelling and reliever Emiliano Fruto for the 32-year-old Vidro, who has spent his entire career with the Montreal-Washington organization. Snelling and Fruto also must pass physicals for the deal to be approved.

Details of the transaction also began to emerge yesterday. Seattle was one of seven teams Vidro had on a limited no-trade clause in the contract he signed with the franchise in 2004, when it was in Montreal. As part of the deal for Vidro to waive the no-trade provision to Seattle, the two sides negotiated an option for 2009, essentially extending Vidro's deal. Terms of the extension were not available.

According to a source with knowledge of the contract, the Mariners also increased to 15 the number of teams to which Vidro could refuse to be traded.

"I was very concerned about my family, being so far from Puerto Rico to Seattle," Vidro said. "There's a three-hour [time] differential, too. Me and my agent decided to work it out the best way possible for both sides. Everything came down to it being a great deal, and I think I'm going to have fun."

Vidro will be reunited in Seattle with former Nationals outfielder Jose Guillen, who signed a one-year, $5.5 million deal with the Mariners earlier this month. Vidro is likely to serve as designated hitter, with Guillen playing right field and Ichiro Suzuki moving to center.

Nationals General Manager Jim Bowden did not return calls seeking comment about the trade, and club officials are unlikely to comment until it becomes official. Although Vidro has a recent history of injuries, he said he feels healthy, and there aren't expected to be any complications with the examination.

In other news, the Nationals released their spring training schedule, complete with 32 games -- 14 at Space Coast Stadium in Viera, Fla., 15 at other Grapefruit League sites and two at minor league parks as they make their way north for the season opener.

Washington will play Baltimore on March 29 in Columbus, Ohio, new home to the Nationals' Class AAA affiliate, then play the Orioles again on March 30 in Norfolk and on March 31 at RFK Stadium.

The Nationals also came to contract terms with five members of their 40-man roster -- relievers Chris Schroder and Chris Booker, catcher Brandon Harper, outfielder Kory Casto and left-hander Mike Hinckley. Neither Casto, the franchise's two-time minor league player of the year, nor Hinckley has yet appeared in the majors. Such contracts for players with little or no major league service time are routine.

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