Mariners decline options on Bedard, Branyan, Lopez

BY foxsports • November 3, 2010

The Erik Bedard experiment in Seattle is over.

The Mariners cut ties with the oft-injured left-hander on Wednesday, declining to exercise an $8 million option for the 2011 season.

Seattle also turned down options on designated hitter Russell Branyan and third baseman Jose Lopez. The Mariners opted to let Branyan go instead of locking him up for next year at $5 million. Lopez would have been due $4.5 million if Seattle exercised its option on him, but he becomes eligible for salary arbitration.

Seattle will pay a $250,000 buyout on Bedard and $500,000 on Branyan, making each a free agent.

Bedard could never stay healthy following his much-hyped trade from Baltimore before the 2008 season. He made just 30 starts in three years with the Mariners and hasn't pitched in a major league game since the middle of the 2009 season. He finished with an 11-7 record and 3.24 ERA in his time with the Mariners, but was sidelined for nearly two full seasons by shoulder problems.

Branyan was reacquired by Seattle in June in a trade with Cleveland. He was a breakout for the Mariners in 2009, hitting a career-high 31 home runs and 76 RBIs, but a bad back made Seattle leery of bringing him back in 2010.

After coming over from Cleveland, Branyan hit 15 homers for Seattle, starting 30 of his 34 games at DH.

Lopez moved from second to third base with the arrival of Chone Figgins in Seattle and proceeded to have the worst offensive year of his career. Lopez hit just .239 and had an on-base percentage of .270. His homers dipped from 25 in 2009 to just 10 last season and RBIs dropped from 96 to 58.

Seattle also sent several players outright to Triple-A Tacoma: left-hander Ryan Feierabend, outfielder Ryan Langerhans, catcher Guillermo Quiroz, left-hander Chris Seddon and right-hander Sean White.

Quiroz and Langerhans refused the assignments and elected to become free agents.

Seattle also claimed right-hander Brian Sweeney off waivers from Arizona, leaving the Mariners 40-man roster at 30.