DECEMBER 16: Seattle announced that Caminero has officially been released to pursue the opportunity in Japan.
DECEMBER 10: Mariners righty Arquimedes Caminero is close to a deal with the Yomiuri Giants in Japan, as noted by Yahoo! Japan (via Beyond The Box Score’s Kazuto Yamazaki and Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune, who notes that the Mariners have already agreed to sell Caminero’s contract).
The 29-year-old Caminero is out of options, and the Mariners’ decision suggests that they don’t foresee much of a future for him on a team with plenty of right-handed bullpen possibilities, even though he has four years of control remaining before free agency and has tantalizing velocity. Caminero throws harder than almost anyone — his 97.9-MPH average fastball velocity last year was faster than anyone except Aroldis Chapman’s.
Caminero has had persistent problems with walks, with 4.9 BB/9 last year. His 3.56 ERA last year between the Pirates and Mariners looks decent on the surface, but his peripheral numbers have generally been unimpressive, and he’s never been as dominant as his velocity would suggest, perhaps in part because he relies too heavily on his fastball. Through parts of four seasons in the big leagues with the Marlins and Pirates in addition to the Mariners, Caminero has a 3.83 ERA, 8.3 K/9 and 4.0 BB/9 in 155 innings.