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Mariners GM Jerry Dipoto explains release of Ariel Miranda to pursue playing in Japan

Ariel Miranda was granted a release by the Mariners to pursue playing in Japan. (AP)

Ariel Miranda was the Mariners’ most reliable starting pitcher in 2017, a year when injuries decimated their rotation. But with Seattle considerably more healthy this year, Miranda found himself blocked from the major league roster, instead spending his time with Triple-A Tacoma save for one spot start with the Mariners.

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Now Miranda is on his way to Japan, having been granted his release by the Mariners to pursue an opportunity to pitch on the other side of the Pacific.

Mariners general manager Jerry Dipoto shared what went into Miranda’s release while on with Danny, Dave and Moore during the weekly Jerry Dipoto Show.

“Some of it is doing the right thing for the human being,” Dipoto said. “Ariel’s married, he’s got a young family, obviously he came here from Cuba, and in his world he would certainly like to make more money than you generally make playing in Triple-A. We could not really promise him that there was a major league job for him on the near-horizon and we came to an agreement with a team in Japan to sell the rights to his contract.

“… He will make considerably more money than he would have made here. We will get a financial benefit for allowing that to happen and hopefully repurpose it in a productive way for our roster.”

Dipoto spoke highly of Miranda both for what he did for the Mariners last year as well as who he is as a person.

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“He did a very good job last year of taking the ball every fifth day in a season where we were battling a ton of injuries. … He went out there and battled every night, really good athlete and love the makeup – he’s a really good guy.”

Dipoto holds out hope that Miranda will find his way back to the big leagues and enjoy late-career success much like Mariners lefty Wade LeBlanc, who the team signed to a contract extension earlier this week.

“He’s coming up on 30 years old. By the standards of baseball you are starting to move the needle (at that age). It’s not a prospect we’re waiting to hit. This is an opportunity for him to do the right thing for his family and put a little bit of money in the bank and maybe two, three years down the road he comes back and he’ll be the next Wade LeBlanc.”

You can download the full Jerry Dipoto Show in this podcast.

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