The Mariners announced that they’ve released right-hander Casey Lawrence so he can pursue an opportunity in Japan’s Nippon Professional Baseball.
Obviously, it’s not the move that Mariners fans (or Mets fans) are anxiously anticipating, though it does deplete the Mariners’ pitching depth a bit and likely afford Seattle with a bit of financial compensation from the team with which Lawrence will ultimately sign. Which club that is, at this point, remains unclear.
Lawrence, 31, has spent most of the past two seasons in the Mariners organization, struggling to a 6.20 ERA with 8.1 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9 in 65 1/3 innings at the Major League level. He’s been solid in the minors, however, compiling a 3.73 earned run average while averaging seven strikeouts and 1.7 walks per nine innings pitched over the life of 262 2/3 frames — mostly as a starter. The new arrangement will surely provide Lawrence with a greater financial guarantee than he’d have earned with another season of bouncing between the Majors and Triple-A.