The Seattle Times and others are reporting that the Mariners have declined options on Erik Bedard, Russell Branyan, and Jose Lopez. Bedard was no surprise whatsoever, as he hasn’t pitched in a year and half and the option was for $8 mil. The other two had a slight chance of getting picked up, but this was still expected.
Branyan and Bedard become free agents, with nothing to prevent them from resigning with the Mariners if everyone’s interested. Lopez only has 5 years of major league service time, so he remains on the Mariners roster, for now. They have about a month to decide whether to offer him arbitration, meaning he would get a contract next year, or non-tender him, making him a free agent. Dave Cameron at USS Mariner has a post that goes into a little more depth on the options. He says expect a trade, but any of the three are plausible outcomes.
In other related news, a bunch of guys were removed from the 40-man roster. Ryan Langerhans and Guillermo Quiroz have refused an assignment to the minors, making them free agents. Ryan Feierabend, Sean White, and Chris Seddon are still deciding whether to accept their assignments. I can’t imagine anyone will be too interested in whatever happens with any of these guys. Again, it’s possible they could all come back in some form or other, but it doesn’t really matter. Brian Sweeney was also taken off waivers by the Diamondbacks. He won’t be back.