The Seattle Mariners have officially released RHP Arquimedes Caminero, thus allowing him to pursue a career with the Yomiuri Giants of Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan:
#Mariners confirmed they've released RHP Arquimedes Caminero to pursue opportunity int Japan.— Bob Dutton (@TNT_Mariners) December 16, 2016
It’s a bit of an odd move to release a player who A) is capable of throwing 100 mph and B) won’t be a free agent until 2021, but significant command issues and a lack of secondary offerings across multiple organizations had his future as a MLB reliever very much in doubt.
In his brief stint with the Mariners, Caminero appeared in 18 games, posting a 5.35 xFIP, 8.24 K/9, and 5.03 BB/9 across 18.2 innings. He actually managed a decent stretch when he first arrived in Seattle, striking out five while allowing just three baserunners over his first five appearances, but it was all downhill from there. From August 16th on, Caminero did the following (via FanGraphs):
His biggest selling point–a fastball that sits in the high-90s and can run up above 100mph–graded out at -12.3 wFB (-1.66 wFB/C) for the season. It was far and away his least-valuable pitch regardless of how you spin it.
Now, Caminero will have the opportunity to sort himself out in Japan, where the competition level is a little less daunting and the hitters are a little more forgiving. May he finally find that touch of command he’s always been missing.