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Shawn Camp, Mariners No Longer An Item

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This is news I didn't expect to wake up to today. I didn't expect to wake up today to any news in particular, and so this news, like all other news, was unexpected. Today the Seattle Mariners released Shawn Camp. They just let him go. Freed him from the shackles of Marinerhood. It's tough, because now Shawn Camp's going to have to find a new employer. It's not tough, because this means the end of Shawn Kemp jokes. It's the opposite of tough, because Shawn Camp has been freed to roam in camp forever, which is something he would like, based on his last name.

There was a time that the Mariners were seemingly struggling to get consistent relief this spring. When I was in Arizona, it was pointed out to me that Shawn Camp had been quietly effective. He allowed two runs over seven appearances, with twice as many strikeouts as walks. You'd think that would only make him a more certain fit for the roster, given his big league experience. You'd have been wrong to think that, apparently.

You'll remember that Shawn Camp and Hong-Chih Kuo signed Major League contracts with the Mariners simultaneously at the beginning of February. Chris Gimenez and Mike Wilson were designated for assignment to make roster room. How could you forget that? Now Kuo and Camp have both been released, just days apart, in advance of the regular season. They have so much in common. They have these transactions in common.

I don't know why Shawn Camp was released. His results in Arizona were fine, and his stuff wasn't any different. The Mariners didn't learn anything new about Shawn Camp. I guess this is about the Mariners learning something new about somebody else. There are a few ways they could go from here. Steve Delabar to the bullpen? Hisashi Iwakuma to the bullpen? Erasmo Ramirez to the bullpen? And so on. The roster's going to become clear very soon, and it's going to look different from what we expected some weeks ago.

Between Kuo and Camp, that's $1.25 million the Mariners have already eaten. It might seem strange to see such a quick turnaround with these guys, especially since they're veterans, but I think what the Mariners are making more and more clear is that, if there's something they want to do out of camp, they'll do it, regardless of, say, service time issues. Jobs can be won in Mariners camp that might not be won in other camps. We'll see who benefits here, and then we'll decide whether or not the Mariners did the right thing. We won't arrive at a certain conclusion, but we'll have a sense.

Incidentally, there's no evidence in our photo tool that Shawn Camp was ever a Mariner in the first place. In that way, it's a lot like our memories will be in a month or two.