The Seattle Mariners announced on Wednesday that they will not accept Miguel Olivo‘s contract option for the 2013 season. Olivo will enter the free agent market the day after the World Series ends. The Mariners also released infielder, Munenori Kawasaki from his major league contract, making Kawasaki a free agent this winter as well.
Olivo, 34, spent the last two seasons in Seattle and earned 68 starts as catcher for the Mariners this past season. The veteran backstop played in 87 games for the Mariners during the 2012 campaign, totaling 12 home runs, 29 runs batted in and recording a .222 batting average.
He would have earned $3 million next season if his option was enacted by the Mariners, but will test free agency. Seattle has catchers’ Jesus Montero and John Jaso under contract for next season and both are currently on the 40 man roster. Montero will likely be the starting catcher, but could also slide into the designated hitter position to give Jaso some starts behind the plate.
Olivo has played for the Chicago White Sox, San Diego Padres, Marlins, Kansas City Royals, Colorado Rockies and most recently for Seattle over his 11 year career. He signed a two-year deal worth $7 million in 2011, providing a solid veteran presence to the Mariners’ club house.
There won’t be many teams interested in Olivo as a starter or platoon player, but the 34 year old veteran could definitely be a good backup catcher and mentor for an up and coming prospect. He’ll likely sign a one year deal with an MLB club this off-season.