Kole Calhoun has exercised the opt-out clause in his minor league contract with the Mariners, The Athletic’s Ken Rosenthal reports (Twitter link). Yesterday was the first designated opt-out deadline for Article XX(B) free agents on minor league deals, and since the Mariners weren’t planning to include Calhoun on their active roster, Calhoun instead chose free agency.
Even with Taylor Trammell and utilityman Dylan Moore projected to start the year on the injured list, there wasn’t room in Seattle’s outfield for Calhoun to win a job. The 35-year-old didn’t help his case with a lackluster .250/.314/.281 slash line over 35 plate appearances in Cactus League action.
It has been a tough couple of years for Calhoun, as he has batted only .208/.269/.343 over 606 PA since the start of the 2021 season. Injuries have factored into that lack of production, but Calhoun’s struggles cost him playing time with the Rangers in 2022 as Texas just preferred to give younger players more of a look against big-league pitching. The Rangers held a $5.5MM club option on Calhoun for 2023 that they declined last fall, leading to Calhoun’s last trip to the open market and his subsequent contract with Seattle.
Calhoun will now join the field of free agents, late-camp roster cuts, and fellow Article XX(B) opt-out players in trying to land another deal with a new team. Calhoun’s experience and pre-2021 track record figures to get him some looks from clubs looking to add outfield depth or perhaps fill a vacancy due to injury.
Interesting to note that the Mariners are so solid that they can easily let a guy like this go.
He showed me enough that I believe he will find a ML spot somewhere soon.
Mariners? SOLID? LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL
Jarred Kelenic's Beer Can
Yeah, as a coach.
May have something to do with the (cautiously optimistic) potential emergence of kelenic, who is still very young but may be figuring things out. I think to start JK will operate as LHB in a platoon in LF. And he has earned that. Calhoun had no spot.
As poorly as K
As poorly as Kelenic’s career has started, there’s no indication Calhoun is better. Go with the potential upside.
Jarred Kelenic's Beer Can
Yep, he’s only 23 and has shown a much better process at the plate this spring.
It has nothing to do with Kelenic. He was on a minor-league contract with an opt-out. This was a courtesy by Seattle that gave them another veteran voice in the clubhouse for spring.
You’ll hear the same thing from all the respectable Seattle-area journalists, so, yes, ‘lol’ is appropriate.
The joke is always on you.
Most likely Calhoun is done. He was awful last year. It didn’t hurt to give him a look in spring training to see if he still had anything in the tank. I would have liked to keep him in AAA until Trammell gets back but it’s not a big deal.
Mariners finally break the 20 year drout of not making the playoffs because of the extra wildcard and they now believe they are a playoff team! They will finish behind the Angels out of the playoffs this year! U can take that to the bank!
M’s is for maybe
Exactly. They make the post season and fail to show up against the Astros. And NOOOOOOOOOWWWWWWW!!! they want to be mentioned as perennial contenders. Oh and they think Ohtani is interested in them.
They had the second wild card, genius.
If you can’t figure out what was wrong with his statement, you probably shouldn’t be mouthing off either.
So it’s time to shut up and stop making a fool of yourself, topic after topic, Leach.
You apparently know nothing about baseball or how the teams function. Or else you are just a scoffer and troublemaker.
Or just a school kid having fun around the grownups.
FredPark-Or I can be a dim wit like you are and post the same rhetoric after EVERY Mariners post.
“A Solid movie by the Mariners. Looking forward to seeing the Mariners in 2023 World Series” Because I can’t think of anything else to say…..
But my comments are what I actually believe, Winslow Leach.
I don’t scoff at other commenters.
I haven’t offended you or anyone else.
I believe that the Mariners will prove to be the best team in baseball this season.
We should be entitled to express our true beliefs.
However, Winslow Leach, I will stop saying that after every post.
I don’t want to upset anyone, I just like to read about the game and see what others are saying.
I truly love this Trade Rumors website, and I am grateful for all they do here.
But I will hold back on how I make my statements from now on.
And I wish you peace and happiness, my friend.
Fred-It will be fun watching our teams go at it in 2023. May the best team win
What U believe doesn’t line up with reality! The Mariners have not improved and are actually weaker going into this season! If U look up the word arrogant U will find a picture of Jerry Dipoto! The Mariners will win less than 90 games this season! Their young players over achieved last season! Some will crash and burn this season like all the hype centered around Kelinic and he was horrible!
rottenguy, I don’t know if you’re talking to me, or someone else, but I would argue they have gotten better. Never mind whatever Kelenic does, getting Murphy back, having a healthier version of Haniger in Teoscar, getting Wong and a full (hopefully full) season of Castillo and Kirby is an improvement. Getting a full season of Julio and Cal past their break-in phases also improve the team. The depth they added to the pitching is a considerable improvement as well.
The team should be better, by all accounts.
But the Angels got better. The Rangers got better. The Blue Jays got better. The Rays and Orioles should be better via players returning from injuries/surgeries and elite prospect graduations.
Seattle had an opportunity to make themselves a legitimate World Series contender and they didn’t do that. I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they end up with less than 90 wins despite being better. They still might have an edge on a wild card, but I don’t think the postseason should be considered a probability.
I always try to be fair and rational in my assessments. And that said, I don’t think we should discount the value of the pitching depth. I don’t even fault them for ending up with Wong instead of a start middle-infielder. Swanson & Bogaerts weren’t great fits, Correa has real health concerns, and Turner was bent on going to Philly. The previous offseason was a semi-similar situation.
Their mistake this offseason, in my opinion, was not getting at least two controllable elite bats, with one or both being a regular corner outfielder. They went cheap and it’s an enormous gamble, because they very well could miss the postseason and be stuck trying to replace Teoscar, Wong, Pollock, and La Stella (maybe even before next offseason).. Murphy is also a free agent following this season, so Seattle could have much more work to do, but with a weaker free agent class and not much in way of prospect currency.
Seattle has a good, talented team. We shouldn’t undervalue that. I don’t think they ‘overachieved’, either. I think they have a manager that understands how to lead and get the most out of his players. But there are no guarantees in baseball and cheaping out on opportunities this offseason may come to haunt them. I hope that’s not the case, but I think banking on a breakout from Kelenic (who has shown excellent process this spring) and rebounds/production both at the plate and in the field from Wong, Pollock, and La Stella specifically, is a lot to ask and a significant gamble.
Games start in a few games. It’s okay to be skeptical and still enjoy them!
Why your a rotten boy friend.
Kole knows the Mariners are not going to the post season. So he did the wise thing and opted out.
Yeah, because he has all the leverage. Never mind the last two years. I wonder which of the 29 other teams he feels is the right fit and worthy of a call-back?
Seriously, we see this ever single year. Veterans coming off a bad season or two signing minor-league deals with opt-outs for a chance to showcase themselves. We usually see them sign new minor-league deals with teams that have a clearer path to regular playing time, and with any luck, that proves successful and leads to a deadline move. Sometimes there’s even a major-league opportunity due to injury, in which case they serve as a stop-gap.
I’m not stating this for your benefit, though. You’re a lost cause. I just want to make sure anyone new here reading this understands that you have no idea what you’re talking about and shouldn’t be taken seriously.
Congratulations Kole! You may have just prematurely ended your career!
As a Halo fan I miss Kole. His passion and intensity is something you can’t put a $ on. He should get a chance on a rebuilding team since he is way better than most 4th OF. Good luck on your next adventure!
Maybe you Angels will take him back lol
Jarred Kelenic's Beer Can
I can tell you haven’t watched much baseball since he left Anaheim.
DG- I think Kole wants to be on a team that has a chance.. I wish him nothing but the best.
Kole “As long as I look good and strut like I’m a Hall of Famer” Calhoun is about the most annoying player on the planet. He and Rougned Odor should get together and talk about how good they are while sharing wristband applying tips.
What did he do piss on your cornflakes sheesh.
Does he speak Korean?
Jarred Kelenic's Beer Can
Not surprised. He’s burnt toast.
@Jarred OH but you and Mr.Park would have us believing if KC made the team “Another Solid M’s move on our way to the WS” Whatever.
I’m not sure of what Calhoun’ s thought processes were when he signed on with the M’s. Although I know what the M’s were thinking it had to be depth. Even if Calhoun had looked really good it probably would have made much difference. Seattle had their chances when he was productive but chose not to spend the money. He will end up somewhere. I would have like to have seen Nelson Cruz resigned he’s now 44 years old, and like Ortiz long career is finally on his last legs I guess there’s not much room for sentiment on a bench.
It appears MLBTR has wrong info. BBRef and MLB show Kole slashed .286/.342/.343 this spring.