Richie Sexson, who hit 105 home runs in 3 ½ seasons with Seattle – but batted just .218 this season – has taken his last swing as a Mariner.
Released by the team Thursday, Sexson will become a free agent on Monday, and even the team that let him go believes he'll play again.
"This isn't the end of his career, he's got baseball left in him," manager Jim Riggleman said. "We just couldn't find the key to open that door for him."
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At age 33, that likely is true – and Sexson has drawn tentative interest from the Angels and Dodgers, among other teams.
Releasing Sexson was something the team had discussed for weeks, but the final decision came after Wednesday's game, which Sexson didn't start.
"Richie wasn't going to play regularly, and I saw his body language on the bench, he was a little perturbed," Riggleman said. "That was reason enough to do this. We can't have negativity on the club. I think the players would agree – Richie needed a change of scenary.
A career .261 hitter with 305 home runs, Sexson was batting .218 this year in 252 at-bats, with 11 home runs and 30 RBI. In his time in Seattle, he hit .251 with 105 home runs and 321 RBI.
His best season as a Mariner was his first – 2005 – when he batted .263 with 39 home runs and 121 RBI.
On the day the team released Sexson, they also placed left-handed pitcher Erik Bedard, then brought up two players from Tacoma – infielder Tug Hullet and left-handed reliever Jared Wells.
Wells' time in the majors could be short. It's likely he'll return to the Rainiers Friday, when the Mariners need a roster spot for Felix Hernandez, who will come off the disabled list and start against Kansas City.