The Seattle Mariners took a chance when they signed veteran RHP Jon Garland to a minor league deal this offseason. Garland was coming off of a shoulder injury that cost him most of 2011 and all of 2012 when he was a member of the Los Angeles Dodgers.
Garland exercised an opt-out clause in his contract that will make him a free agent. GM Jack Zduriencik said that Garland was not going to be part of the team’s plans for the opening day roster and would likely be sent down to Triple-A if he did not opt-out.
“We sat down and we talked, and we weren’t at this moment in time prepared to commit one of the starting spots in the rotation to Jon,” Zduriencik told mariners.com. “There’s still some games left to be played, and we just couldn’t put ourselves in that position at this time. There’s still a battle going on for a few spots in the rotation.”
As a non-roster invitee, Garland knew that he was facing an uphill battle if he wanted to make the roster. Even though he threw very well, going 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in his four spring appearances, he still did not do quite enough to find a spot on the roster.
This does not really clear up the Mariners rotation though, as the battle for the fifth spot continues to heat up. With Brandon Maurer and Erasmo Ramirez continuing to impress and Blake Beavan struggling, manager Eric Wedge will have a tough decision to make in the near future.