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Randy Wolf asked to be cut after the Mariners requested he sign a 45-day release waiver

Mar 25, 2014, 9:17 PM EDT

randy wolf getty Getty Images

Ryan Divish of the Seattle Times explains the odd situation:

After it seemed as Randy Wolf made the opening day starting rotation – which he apparently did, we learned that Wolf asked to be released from his contract and the Mariners granted his release.

So what happened?’

Well, the Mariners told Wolf on Tuesday that he had made the team and would be in the starting rotation. But in the midst of that, they slipped in that they wanted him to sign 45-day advanced-consent relief form.

Wolf would not sign the form, telling reporters on Tuesday evening, “I was principally objected to that simply because we negotiated in good faith in February on a team friendly contract, if I were to make the team. I felt like I came in amazing shape, I pitched great and I earned a spot on the team. They told me I earned the spot on team. But to me, that advanced consent thing is kind of renegotiating a contract so I told them I wouldn’t sign in and I disagreed with it.”

Wolf posted a 4.26 ERA and 1.316 WHIP in 19 Cactus League innings this spring.

The 37-year-old left-hander should be able to latch on with a new team quickly.

Seattle will presumably fill out its rotation with Blake Beaven and Roenis Elias.

Editor’s Note: Hardball Talk’s partner FanDuel is hosting a one-day $100,000 Fantasy Baseball league for Opening Day’s games (March 31). It’s $25 to join and first prize is $15,000. Starts at 1:05pm ET on Opening Day. Here’s the FanDuel link.

  1. paperlions - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:30 PM

    Nice. Man, the Mariners (specifically Jack Z) keep finding ways to seem shady and to treat people like crap.

    “Hey, you made the starting rotation, congrats. Remember that contract we negotiated with you that said we’d pay you $1M if you made the team? Yeah, about that. Here sign this form that allows us to cut you during the next 45 days and immediately stop paying you at that time.”

    Giant dick move….and for Jack Z to then say that such a thing is common is even worse. Feel free to find all of the stories of veterans that sign such a form to make their salaries non-guaranteed AFTER they make the team.

    • gloccamorra - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:43 PM

      I’m sure there were some fringe players who signed that, but I’d like to see a list of veterans too, who signed a contingency contract like Wolf’s and then had that 45 day dismissal form handed to them, and actually signed it. It’s obvious Jack Z just wanted Wolf until Taijuan was ready, but yeah, it stinks, and is likely to make the Mariners anathema to a lot of players going forward.

      • paperlions - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:49 PM

        Yeah, I could see if they made the 45 day thing a part of his contract, requiring him to stay with the team 45 days to guarantee the rest of the contract….but to introduce it after the guy made the team on a minor league deal…that’s weak.

    • cmp78 - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:47 PM

      A bad move, to be sure, but, at least recently, not without precedent.

      @keithlaw Phillies did it with Humberto Quintero last spring.— Matt Gelb (@magelb) March 25, 2014

      • Reflex - Mar 26, 2014 at 12:25 AM

        Given the crap the Phils have pulled with their prospects, I do not think its a mark of pride that the M’s are operating no different than the Phils. And I generally agree with Jack’s moves.

    • autmorsautlibertas - Mar 26, 2014 at 9:38 AM

      Free agents are not going to want to sign with a team that exhibits such weasely business practices. Good luck to you Robbie Cano. Get used to being in the cellar.

  2. giantboy99 - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:34 PM

    WEAK move by a weak organization

  3. 13arod - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:35 PM

    am i only one seeing seattle as a bad team to sign with

  4. sabathiawouldbegoodattheeighthtoo - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:42 PM

    And people wonder why ARod left.

    • kruegere - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:23 PM

      No one wonders that.

      ARod undoubtedly left for the money.

  5. 13yrsmlbvet - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:42 PM

    That is a boot leg move.

  6. giantboy99 - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:44 PM

    Seattle is the new Baltimore

    • thebirdsareback - Mar 26, 2014 at 8:30 AM

      Please take it! Baltimore has had enough!!!!

  7. straightouttavtown - Mar 25, 2014 at 9:53 PM

    The Mariners thought top hitters didn’t want to sign here because of how pitcher-friendly Safeco Field is (Adrian Beltre, Richie Sexson, etc), so they moved in the fence last year and broke the bank for Cano. With the classless way they treated Wolf, they’ve just taken a huge step back in terms of luring in free agents. Good luck getting guys to sign there unless they overpay.

  8. rollinghighwayblues - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:17 PM

    It’s stories like these that make me hope Wolf lands on a different AL West team and gets 6 wins against the Mariners this year.

  9. cmp78 - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:19 PM

    I think it speaks to a larger problem, that this clause exists. It’s a bad clause that allows MLB to work a little like the NFL with non-guaranteed contracts. CJ Nitkowski explains it best.

    Sorry, on a plane, the quick version of the 45 day waiver, how it works and how teams manipulate players with it. pic.twitter.com/LV6Qf7fuWI— CJ Nitkowski (@CJNitkowski) March 25, 2014

    It sounds like it only applies to a very small segment of players, but if it is used at least once a season (Quintero last year, Wolf this year), maybe it’s time to work that loophole out of the next CBA. If they don’t, it will suck for the NRIs who get this treatment, but them’s the breaks.

  10. therooneyskilledwebster - Mar 25, 2014 at 10:23 PM

    Well who’s the Wolf in sheep’s clothing now?

  11. drush127 - Mar 25, 2014 at 11:18 PM

    Over/under on when Cano realizes he should have stayed in the Bronx?

    • thedom2424 - Mar 26, 2014 at 1:05 AM

      2nd home game of the season. Considering he’s pulling in $24 mil per year, I’ll take the over.

    • anxovies - Mar 26, 2014 at 6:01 PM

      As a devoted Yankee I confess that I am going to get a lot of pleasure in watching the Cano deal play out. Cano went first class with the Yankees, they treat their players very well in all respects and spend a lot of time and money keeping them happy. It will be interesting to see how he reacts to riding economy.

  12. dcarroll73 - Mar 25, 2014 at 11:37 PM

    Will the MLBPA wake up and smell something a lot worse than coffee? They should right now be supporting Wolf in a suit to force the Mariners to make good on that “guaranteed” contract. They told him that he had made the roster which I believe was the condition required in that contract. Trying to force him to negate that guarantee should be actionable. Lawyer Craig, what say ye?

  13. toodrunktotastethischicken - Mar 26, 2014 at 12:12 AM

    Phillies! Get him! Keep the 2004 Reunion tour going!

    • deathmonkey41 - Mar 26, 2014 at 8:46 AM

      I was going to say the same thing- once Amaro sees him out there, he’s going to offer him a 3 yr, heavily backloaded deal!

  14. willclarkgameface - Mar 26, 2014 at 8:44 AM

    All these GMs are shady bastards and I absolutely believe the reports from last year that Jack Z doesn’t have a clue about what he is doing. Proof positive with the way he handled the off-season post Cano. Good luck up there Robinson dealing with 3rd place year in, year out. I guess the one good thing is that in the next couple years you’re almost guaranteed to not finish last because Houston’s shady GM won’t bring his supremely talented youth up to play.

  15. bluemoonking - Mar 26, 2014 at 9:31 AM

    Typical Jack Z douche bag move. He is a horrible GM. A week in Seattle and Cano will realize that he is in baseball purgatory. 24mill and a vacation in October. This is typical of Z’s tenure. Makes Bavasi look like a genius. Welcome to another 70 win season. Didn’t Have a decent record against the Mariners? Ya, last place looks attainable.

  16. bluemoonking - Mar 26, 2014 at 10:49 AM

    What I ment to say was, didn’t the Astros have a decent record vs the Mariners last year? That’s ok, a douche GM for douche fans..

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