Lefty Joe Saunders has opted out of his minor league deal with the Mariners, Triple-A Tacoma announcer Mike Curto reports on Twitter. The 33-year-old will head onto the open market in search of a more favorable situation.
Saunders, a starter for virtually all of his career, had been throwing from the pen for the Rainiers. He allowed seven earned runs in 11 frames, but did strike out a healthy number of batters (12) while issuing just four walks.
Over a decade in the bigs, Saunders has racked up over a thousand frames of 4.37 ERA ball. But he has struggled in his last two seasons, including a 32-start run in Seattle in 2013 when he managed only a 5.26 earned run average. The 42 innings that Saunders threw last year for the Rangers and Orioles were even less successful.