Outfielder/first baseman Corey Hart, as expected, chose to become a free agent Monday by declining an outright assignment to the minor leagues from the Mariners.
The move came one week after the club designated Hart for assignment in order to clear space on their 40-man roster to reinstate first baseman/designated hitter Jesus Montero from the suspended list.
Various injuries limited Hart, 32, to 68 games this season after he signed a one-year deal $6 million as a free agent last December with the Mariners. He had six homers and 21 RBIs while batting .203.
Barring a new deal with the Mariners, Hart would have become a free agent after the World Series.