The Mariners made a couple of roster decisions official this morning, setting the first dominos to fall in a likely-not-too-busy offseason.
147 Players today were declared XX(B) free agents. Additional Players may become XX(B) free agents pending option decisions in their Uniform Player Contracts.— MLBPA Communications (@MLBPA_News) October 28, 2020
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Yoshi Hirano becoming a free agent was automatic, as his deal expired and he had no option. Dee Strange-Gordon had a much-discussed club option for 2021 with a $1mm buyout, and it was completely clear for a solid 18 months now that he would not be with the team in 2021. Fair winds and following seas to Dee, who came over, was immediately tasked with learning a new position, was moved around the field, was hurt, and without fail worked his butt off to do whatever the team needed and to uplift everyone around him (except Jean Segura. Team Dee.) We’ll see where he goes from here, but it would be great to see him in a coaches’ uniform when his playing days are over, as he is universally hailed across the game as one of its best people.
The Kendall Graveman news is, if not a shock given the overall economic circumstances in baseball, certainly a surprise. Graveman returned from an IL stint to shorter bullpen outings and showed flashes of absolute dominance there, and for only $3mm, it seemed likely the Mariners would turn to him as one of their planned variety of offseason reliever targets, given that he was already in house. Instead they’ll let him hit the open market, but the ever-connected Shannon Drayer says the team already has designs on bringing him back again. Graveman still has not turned 30 and should be an interesting discussion topic for the next few weeks until he settles on a new squad—hopefully in Seattle again.
With the departures, the Mariners’ 40-man roster now stands at 31.