By Shannon Drayer
Two moves that shouldn’t be too much of a surprise were announced by the Mariners this afternoon. The team has released Munenori Kawasaki from his Major League contract and declined the 2013 option on Miguel Olivo.
Kawasaki came to the United States to play alongside Ichiro, something he clearly enjoyed. He seemed to enjoy every moment he was a part of the team and quickly became a favorite of teammates and the coaching staff. He was entertaining to watch both on and off the field but he didn’t ever want to talk too much about that. In interviews I was always left with the impression that while he was having fun he ultimately was a baseball player and as such wanted to be on the field. Remember, he was an all star and somewhat of a star in Japan. No doubt he will be one once again.
As for Olivo, he simply is not a part of the Mariners’ future. With the rapid rise of Mike Zunino through the minor leagues there is a good chance that what ultimately will be his spot behind the plate will not need to be kept warm for long. Jack Zduriencik most likely can find a temporary option for less than the $3 million Olivo would have been paid if the option had been picked up.
With the moves, the 40-man roster is now at 39. Move moves will come as Kevin Millwood, Hisashi Iwakuma, Oliver Perez and George Sherrill will become free agents one day after the World Series ends.