I'm back. Yay. Stupid Harden.
So Ryan Langerhans was non-tendered today, opening up a 40-man spot and making him a free agent. As a free agent, he's free to negotiate with anyone, including the Mariners, but there's not a lot of playing time around here to be had, making his return a slim possibility. Langerhans is almost 30 years old. If he wants to have any kind of Major League job security, he's going to need to go somewhere that can promise him a little more action. I don't know if he'll find that opportunity, mind you, but the Mariners certainly can't provide it. So.
For those who understand the kind of value Langerhans can provide off the bench, this is a bit of an unfortunate move, but it essentially became a necessary one when Griffey re-signed. With Michael Saunders, Franklin Gutierrez, and Ichiro locked into the starting spots and Bill Hall available as the utility guy, Langerhans was already in a bind, but assuming a 12-man pitching staff, Griffey took away the last possible roster spot. The M's could've opted to cut Hall, of course, but given Hall's additional flexibility, handedness, potential to rebound, and the fact that dropping Langerhans is free, it wasn't a difficult decision. Langerhans ended up a neat player on the wrong team.
While there is obviously a number of different factors in play here, it is kind of sad to know that Langerhans was non-tendered by the one organization most likely to see him for all of his value. This front office - a front office that's become synonymous with run prevention - got him for a reason, and even with everything else, it can't be a good sign that even they couldn't find him a role. But then, Langerhans has received significant big league playing time in each of the last five seasons, so it's not like he won't find a job. This is just one of those depressing things that's going to make him anxious every night when he goes to bed until he gets a contract.
Realistically, losing Ryan Langerhans barely hurts us, as he's not a great player. It's always been more about what Langerhans represents than who he is specifically. That said, the day of his acquisition went to show how far this organization has come in such a short time, so his non-tender is most definitely a bittersweet occasion. For all of his faults, most of us liked Ryan Langerhans, and are sad to see him go. But if nothing else, it was because of Ryan that I found myself one August night standing in the middle of a bar hugging like five other dudes, and I will always cherish that memory. Best of luck to you going forward, Ryan. Your walkoffs were awesome. Yours will forever be the jersey I most wanted to have but couldn't bring myself to buy.