Mariners Insider Blog

Mariners decline option on Miguel Olivo, release Munenori Kawasaki

The Mariners made a pair of roster moves today, both of which were not completely unexpected.

The organization decided to part ways with both Miguel Olivo and Munenori Kawasaki.

The Mariners declined to pick up $3 million club option on Olivo for the 2013 season making him a free agent.

Olivo, 34, appeared in 87 games in 2012, starting a team-high 68 games at catcher. He hit .222 (70x315) with 12 home runs and 29 RBI, his seventh consecutive season with double-digits in home runs. Behind the plate he ranked tied for 4th in the American League with 19 caught stealing.

But with John Jaso and Jesus Montero on the roster, the club decided to go in a different direction. Olivo's playing time was cut significantly by midseason with organization looking toward the future.

Olivo showed glimpses of a power at times, and the ability to throw runners out. But his propensity for poor at-bats, strikeouts and passed balls became an issue the Mariners couldn't overlook.

.GIFs courtesy of Lookout Landing ...

Meanwhile, Seattle released the light-hitting but energetic Kawasaki from his major league contract.

Kawasaki, 31, appeared in 61 games (25 starts) for the Mariners in 2012, his first in the Major Leagues. He was named the Mariners nominee for the Major League Baseball Alumni Association Heart and Hustle Award. Kawasaki was an 8-time All-Star (2004-11) and a 2-time Golden Glove winner with Fukuoka in the Japan Pacific League prior to joining Seattle.

With George Sherrill coming off the 60-day disabled list. It leaves the Mariners with 39 players on the 40-man roster