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Mariners decline 2011 options on Erik Bedard, Jose Lopez, and Russell Branyan

Nov 3, 2010, 3:48 PM EST

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Seattle declined a trio of 2011 options today: Erik Bedard for $8 million, Russell Branyan for $5 million, and Jose Lopez for $4.5 million.

Bedard and Branyan are now free agents, while the Mariners still control Lopez as an arbitration-eligible player. However, there’s a strong chance they’ll non-tender him by the December 2 deadline unless they can find another team interested in dealing for him before then.

There’s also a small chance they could decide to keep Lopez while hoping he receives a modest raise on his 2010 salary of $2.3 million coming off a career-worst season, perhaps giving him a chance to recoup some value before looking to deal him at midseason (or sooner, if 2009 first-round pick Dustin Ackley is ready to take over second base).

Bedard missed the entire season following shoulder surgery, so declining his option was a no-brainer, but choosing not to bring Branyan back for $5 million is somewhat surprising considering the Mariners traded a pair of prospects to the Indians for him in June. Neither player was a top prospect and picking up a half-year rental is obviously commonplace throughout baseball, but 101-loss teams usually aren’t doing the renting.

  1. easports82 - Nov 3, 2010 at 3:57 PM

    Branyan was the only option that would make sense to pick up, but he was hurt for a good portion of this stint, so why not cut him loose and try to get him for cheaper? Same with Bedard.

    Someone’s gotta be dumb enough to trade for Lopez (I’m looking at you, KC). If not, so long. Thanks for the memories.

    • IdahoMariner - Nov 3, 2010 at 6:50 PM

      you said what I was thinking. On all counts.

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