Boone, Mariners' top prospect, could join club here this week


SEATTLE -- The arrival of second baseman Bret Boone, the top-rated prospect in the Seattle Mariners' farm system, apparently is at hand.

According to a source with the Seattle club, Boone will join the Mariners in Baltimore this week.

"I can only say that when we do bring Boone up," general manager Woody Woodward said, "he's going to play the majority of the games."

The club regards Boone, 23, as a possible successor at second base to Harold Reynolds, 31, who is at the end of a three-year contract.

Boone, whose father is former major-league catcher Bob Boone, leads the Triple-A Calgary Cannons in batting average and home runs.

Reynolds, hitting .247 with three home runs, 30 RBI and 13 steals, apparently is upset that the club has held off discussions about a new contract.

Reynolds is expected to play the three-game series with the Orioles that starts today in Baltimore. Sources say the Orioles have expressed interest in acquiring Reynolds, a two-time All-Star and three-time Gold Glove winner, but the Orioles would not confirm the report.

Mariners manager Bill Plummer said: "Boone has to play when he gets here, because we have to find out if he can play at this level. Before you let go of a player of the quality of Harry Reynolds, you've got to be as sure as you can the kid is ready."

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