M’s To Make Decision on Garland
You’ve likely read by now that Jon Garland has an opt-out clause in his contract on Friday, and so the Mariners have to tell him he’s going to make the team or let him become a free agent. This is actually mandated by the most recent CBA, though Garland’s agent apparently negotiated his opt out to be a few days earlier than all the other veterans on minor league deals.
Anyway, Garland’s going to make the team. The Mariners can say that they haven’t made the decision yet, and hey, maybe they haven’t, but they want another veteran in the rotation and Garland fits the Kevin Millwood old-guy-strike-thrower mold. They’ll announce it at some point tomorrow, but you can start penciling Garland into the rotation right now.
It will be noted that the Mariners will have to open up a 40 man roster spot for Garland, since he’s in camp as a non-roster invitee, but with the inevitable Casper Wells trade on the near horizon — seriously, Jason Bay playing center field should tell you all you need to know about whether this is even actually a real “battle” — they’ll have a spot for Garland before opening day.
Oh, and you should start preparing for Erasmo Ramirez to head to Tacoma at the beginning of the year. He only threw a couple of innings in relief tonight, and Wedge noted that they could “stretch him back out if they need to”, with everything after the if being the key phrase there. If they were going to carry Erasmo as one of their first five guys, he wouldn’t be pitching a couple of innings in relief 10 days before the season starts. I’ve already noted that I think the idea of Erasmo losing out on a rotation spot to Blake Beavan is silly, but at this point, silly decisions are becoming the norm again. Hopefully Ramirez pitches well enough in Tacoma that the Mariners remember that he’s good when Beavan is getting torched by Major League hitters in April.