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Geoff Baker covers the Mariners for The Seattle Times. He provides daily coverage of the team throughout spring training, and during the season.

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March 12, 2008 12:00 PM

Ramirez released

Posted by Geoff Baker

There you go. Doesn't quite rate as a surprise. As many of you have noted, there was just no room on this year's squad for Horacio Ramirez. By releasing him today, the M's only have to pay him a sixth of his $2.75-million salary for the coming season.

I caught up with Ramirez moments ago as he was packing his locker. He'd just gotten the news and wasn't in much of a mood to talk. Was polite, as always, but having a lousy day. He has no leads on any other camp openings.

"No, nothing yet,'' he said.

If his agent is any good, he's been quietly scouting around because this release was a foregone conclusion for anyone paying attention.

"We did not believe Horacio was going to break camp with us,'' Mariners GM Bill Bavasi said in a release. "We felt it would be in everyone's best interest to give him time to catch on with another club.''

Thus ends one of the bleaker trade sagas in Seattle history. Yes, the M's gave up premier reliever Rafael Soriano, essentially for nothing. His final numbers: 8-7 with a 7.16 ERA last season. Yes, this does leave an opening on the roster for a non-roster guy to be added.

Here's something to brighten your day after that heavy note...

bigisland08 064.jpg

Yes, that's former manager Mike Hargrove in yellow, offering moral support to one Ichiro as he battles his way out of his "hitting slump". Hargrove is here acting as a consultant to Bavasi on a number of Seattle hitters. "Just hit the ball, Ich!'' would be my guess on dialogue. Yes, I'm trying to be funny.

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