Adrian Beltre, the third baseman of the Seattle Mariners for the past five seasons, has declined salary arbitration - freeing as much as $12 million for the team, at least temporarily.
"It doesn't mean we won't try to work something out with the player," general manager Jack Zduriencik said.
The Mariners had held about $12 million in abeyance this week, the same amount he was paid in 2009, in case he accepted salary arbitration.
Now, with Beltre walking away from that offer, the team can spend it on other players or, as Zduriencik hinted, off far less of it to Beltre.
With aproximately $25 million to spend this winter, the Mariners will officially take care of $9 million with the formal signing today of third baseman Chone Figgins.
What will they do with the rest? They have options, from making a run at Jason Bay or John Lackey to trying to add Rich Harden, bring back Russell Branyan and find a right-handed hitter.
Given seven days to make up their decision, Beltre and agent Scott Boras waited until the midnight (EST) deadline before notifying the Mariners of their intention.
Now, for some beauty rest.