Jon Garland has left the building. Garland met with team officials this afternoon and was told they are not prepared to give him a roster spot right now.
After that, Garland left the Peoria Sports Complex. His name plate has been taken off his locker. He exercised the “out clause” in his contract. Now, this isn’t entirely official yet, since it will take another 24 hours for the opt-out clause to become official.
Garland could come back to the team tomorrow and stick around for the rest of camp. But that’s not likely, since other clubs have interest.
“Our decision at this time is we couldn’t commit to giving him a roster spot as well as a spot in the rotation,” Mariners GM Jack Zdurencik said.
I’ve tried to contact Garland’s camp to find out their position going forward. But so far, they have not responded.
“There are still some games left to be played,” Zduriencik said. “And we just couldn’t put ourselves in that position at this time. There is still the battle going on, we think, for a few spots in the rotation.”
Zduriencik said the team “has laid it out to him” and that Garland understands where the Mariners stand on this.
The team’s decision is good news for young pitchers Blake Beavan, Erasmo Ramirez and Brandon Maurer, who now will still have two rotation spots they can compete for. Same with non-roster veteran Jeremy Bonderman, who is also still here.
Beavan starts tomorrow afternoon against the Indians in Peoria.
For ths asking whether this was a case of Garland getting “beaten out” by those other pitchers, it goes beyond that. As Zduriencik said, there was a roster spot at stake as well that the team was not yet prepared to make a decision on more than a week before the regular season begins. Had Garland decided to stick around — or if he decides to return — it’s entirely possible he could win that spot. But if he feels he has a better chance of that happening someplace else, then we’ll know in the next 24 hours.
Somehow, I doubt he’s coming back. He just pitched last night, so it’s not like he’ll have an opportunity to throw in a tryout tomorrow and have some team make a decision. Since he exercised the clause, it means his agent has lined up other teams probably a bit more desperate for some pitching — the Rockies leap to mind — than the Mariners are right now. If he pitches for them like he did for the Mariners, he’ll have no trouble landing a job.
So, safe to say that ship has sailed.
It’s now four guys trying for two spots.
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