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Larry Stone gives his take on a wide array of baseball issues and weighs in about the Mariners, too.

October 24, 2012 at 2:35 PM

Mariners decline option on Olivo, release Kawasaki from contract

The Mariner just announced a couple of transactions, neither one of which is a huge surprise.

The Mariners declined to pick up the 2013 club option on catcher Miguel Olivo, which means he will become a free agent the day after the World Series. The option was for $3 million, Also, infielder Munenori Kawasaki has been released from his contract.

The Mariners’ 40-man roster is now at 39, with reliever George Sherrill still on the 60-day disabled list.

With Mike Zunino rising rapidly through the minors, and Jesus Montero and John Jaso already on the roster, the Mariners were unlikley to pick up Olivo’s option. They still could sign him back for a lesser salary, but I expect Olivo, 34, to move on. In his second stint with Seattle, Olivo led the Mariners in home runs (19) and runs batted in (62) in 2011, but hit .224 and .222 the past two years, with an on-base percentage of .239 last year in 87 games.

Ichiro’s departure in July made it extremely unlikely that Kawasaki would be back. He signed with Seattle explicitly to play with his idol, Ichiro, and while Kawasaki was very popular with fans and teammates, he hit just .192 with one extra-base-hit in 62 games.

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