As the Seattle Mariners huddle today to discuss the roster they want to open the season with, veteran Miguel Batista is on the team.
Not, however, because he's won a job in camp.
Though he's put together a 4.38 earned run average, Batista hasn't shown much passion in his outings - and, as always, he works slowly on the mound and walks too many batters he should dominate.
There have been suggestions Batista could start the season as closer.
They're wrong. Batista will be the long man in the bullpen, a potential spot starter should Seattle need one. If he weren't owed $9 million this season, he wouldn't even have that job.
As the Mariners go about purging the past - goodbye, Mike Morse, Bryan LaHair, Jamie Burke, Randy Messenger - Batista has no role in their future.
That doesn't mean he can't pitch, or that he's a bad guy. It means he hasn't shown a new coaching staff what they want to see, and that there are pitchers in camp the Mariners would rather keep.
If the Mariners can move him, they will - they just won't, apparently, eat that $9 million contract this early.
He won't close.
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