Seattle Mariners Get Some Good News

Let’s talk about an American League team other than the New York Yankees and Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim for a second shall we?

There was a very small, but yet very big transaction yesterday for the Seattle Mariners.

According to the Seattle Mariners’ official website, catcher Kenji Johjima will opt out of the remaining two years on his contract and return to Japan. Now you might be asking yourself right now “Who cares? It’s Kenji Johjima.”

Johjima is heading back to Japan

Johjima is heading back to Japan

The reason this is such a big deal for the Mariners is because Johjima had $16 million remaining on his contract. $8 million in 2010 and $8 million in 2011.

How high do you think Mariners’ GM Jack Zduriencik jumped when he heard this news?

In the last two years, Johjima has hit just .235 with 16 HR’s and a .281 OBP. Johjima was so bad in 2009, he  was splitting time with Rob Johnson, a lifetime .205 hitter towards the end of 2009

$8 million in this down economy is the equivalent of maybe $15 million in a good economy. There is a lot of things Zduriencik can do with that money.

With Miguel Batista’s ($9 million), Adrian Beltre’s ($12 million), Erik Bedard’s ($7.75 million), and now Johjima’s contract off the books, the Mariners should be major players in the free agent market this Winter.

With a couple of right moves, the Mariners can be serious contenders in 2010.

Now if they can get Carlos Silva’s contract off the books, they will really be in business.

All contract information was supplied by Cot’s Baseball Contracts.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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