Suddenly, a new starting pitcher is available on the marketplace — and it won’t take a trade to acquire him.
The Seattle Mariners released veteran right-hander Jon Garland from his minor league contract Saturday — at Garland’s request. Garland had an out clause in his deal that effectively forced the Mariners to give him a roster spot or cut him so he could seek other opportunities.
Garland, 33, probably will be of interest to the Texas Rangers and San Diego Padres, who are known to be seeking rotation help. Both the Rangers and Padres have been linked to Detroit Tigers right-hander Rick Porcello, who could be dealt before Opening Day.
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Garland went 1-0 with a 2.25 ERA in four spring starts with the Mariners. He hasn’t pitched in the majors since June 1, 2011. He missed the last season and a half due to a shoulder injury that required surgery.
The Mariners have another veteran pitcher, right-hander Jeremy Bonderman, who is making a comeback attempt on a minor league contract. Bonderman didn’t pitch at all in 2011 or 2012.