Back in the late '80s, if the Seattle Mariners let you go, you had to assume your big-league career was over. Times change.
Today, former Mariners are dotted across the baseball map, from recent free agents like Adrian Beltre to Mike Cameron, who both signed deals with the Boston Red Sox this winter.
They'll join other former Seattle players there - Jason Varitek, Bill Hall and Tug Hulett. Not to mention David Ortiz, who was once a Mariners minor leaguer.
Want to play a little where-are-they-now? Glad you asked.
Derek Lowe and Eric O'Flaherty will go to spring training with Atlanta. Carlos Silva is a Chicago Cub. Hold your applause.
Jeremy Reed signed a minor league deal with Toronto. Miguel Cairo is now a Cincinnati Red. J.J. Putz is a White Sox setup man, joining Matt Thornton and Freddy Garcia - Chicago's No. 5 starter. And the Little O, Omar Vizquel, is Chicago's utility infielder.
Scott Podsednik is the latest ex-Mariner to sign on in Kansas City, which also employs Gil Meche, Willie Bloomquist, Jose Guillen and Yuniesky Betancourt.
Jeff Weaver has agreed to an $800,000 contract with the Dodgers, who have George Sherrill in their bullpen. Rich Aurilia, the Mariners opening day shortstop in 2004, is now 39 years old. He's drawn interest from the Yankees and Mets.
Randy Winn is now a New York Yankee. apparently replacing Johnny Damon in left field. Raul Ibanez is with the Phillies - as are Jamie Moyer and Greg Dobbs, who each won World Series rings in 2008.
Pittsburgh will bring former catcher Jeff Clement, invited to camp as a first base candidate. Chris Jakubauskas may be the No. 3 starter in the Pirates rotation. Ronny Cedeno could be their shortstop.
Carlos Guillen, another former Mariner opening day shortstop, is now an outfielder in Detroit. When the Angels come to town this year, they'll be bringing Joel Pineiro with them, along with closer Brian Fuentes, who was once traded for Jeff Cirillo. Yikes!
Miguel Olivo was the Mariners opening day catcher in 2005. He's now a Colorado Rockie. Gold Glove outfielder Adam Jones will start in center field for Baltimore. Ouch. Reliever Sean Green is with the Mets.
The Indians have three former Mariners: outfielder Shin-Soo Choo and infielders Asdrubal Cabrera and Luis Valbuena. Arthur Rhodes is still pitching, this year with Cincinnati, and the Reds also have Wladimir Balentien on their roster.
Rafael Soriano is a closer now, with Tampa Bay. Ryan Franklin closes now, too - for St. Louis. Brandon Morrow will likely get his chance in the Toronto rotation. And Mike Morse is with the Washington Nationals.
There will be others, former Mariners invited to one camp or another with the chance to make a team. If you think of anyone we missed, pass the name along.
And now, a few links:
- The Florida Marlins have been in touch with the agent for first baseman Russell Branyan, but the team insists no offer has been made.
- Turns out that potentially career-ending knee injury may not stop outfielder Endy Chavez. Doctors now believe Chavez could be playing baseball again this April. The Mariners are monitoring his progress.
- Tim Lincecum and the San Francisco Giants appear at a negoiating stalemate on a long-term deal, which means the Cy Young Award winner is headed to arbitration. The teams offer is $8 million, his $13 million.
- New Yankee outfielder Randy Winn, always quiet and classy, says he won't say much in New York. "I'll let (Alex) Rodriguez, (Derek) Jeter and CC (Sabathia) do all the talking," Winn said.
- Want to keep up with the Angels? Here's a look at their $119 payroll, player-by-player.
- San Diego columnist Tim Sullivan looks at the similarities beween Adrian Gonzalez and Minnesota's Joe Mauer - and how the two players, two teams, seem headed in far different directions.