The Mariners will interview former Yankees GM Bob Watson for their vacant GM position.

Watson, 53, said he spoke with Mariners President Chuck Armstrong yesterday about the job, which became vacant when Woody Woodward resigned effective Oct. 31.

"There's a lot to pique my interest," Watson said. "We'll go out and have a conversation and see where it all heads."

Watson helped build a world championship team with the Yankees in 1996. He resigned in February 1998 in apparent frustration over a reduced decision-making role with the club.

Watson hit .295 in a 19-year major league career with Houston and three other clubs. Watson and Seattle Manager Lou Piniella were teammates with the Yankees from 1980 to 1982.

Watson was Houston's GM for two years before joining the Yankees in 1996.

Woodward, 56, has been Seattle GM since July 1990, giving him the longest tenure of any active GM. He will step down after this season and work as a consultant to the Mariners on special assignments.

The Mariners are third in the AL West at 75-76, 14 games behind first-place Texas. The team's next general manager must address the status of star players Ken Griffey Jr. and Alex Rodriguez, both of whom are eligible for free agency after the 2000 season, and both of whom have said they might depart Seattle if management doesn't make a serious effort to upgrade the team.

INDIANS ACTIVATE KARSAY: The Indians activated RHP Steve Karsay from the 15-day disabled list.

Karsay was placed Aug. 27 on the disabled list for the second time this season with a strained tendon in his right forearm. He was hurt when his forearm tightened during an Aug. 24 game against Oakland.

Karsay, 27, has a 2.92 ERA and his 10-game winning streak is the longest by an Indians pitcher since 1975.