The Mariners predictably declined 2014 options Friday on OF Franklin Gutierrez and LHP Joe Saunders, making both free agents. RHP Stephen Pryor (torn right latissimus) has been reinstated from the 60-day disabled list and added back to the team’s 40-man roster, which now includes 34 players.
Accepting the option on Gutierrez would have cost the Mariners $7.5 million. Due to his history of injuries, there was no surprise that the Mariners said good-bye.
Gutierrez, 30, appeared in 478 games for the Mariners from 2009-2013. He battled injuries over the last three seasons, appearing in only 173 games while making six trips to the disabled list. In 41 games last season, he batted .248 with seven doubles and 10 home runs. He was a Gold Glove winner in 2010.
GM Jack Zduriencik has said a priority this offseason was to find help for the club’s outfield, which, except for 41-year-old Raul Ibanez, who became a free agent Thursday, was almost without power.
Saunders, 32, the only lefty in Seattle’s rotation last season, went 11-16 with a 5.26 ERA in 32 starts. In nine seasons, he is 89-81 with a 4.30 ERA in 221 starts.
Pryor, 24, spent most of the season on the disabled list with a tear in his right latissimus dorsi muscle. He appeared in seven games, not allowing a run, before being placed on the disabled list April 15. He had season-ending surgery to repair the injury Aug. 9.
The Mariners continue to interview candidates to replace manager Eric Wedge, who recently interviewed to become manager of the Chicago Cubs.