SEATTLE -- The Mariners declined the 2018 club options on contracts for Hisashi Iwakuma and Yovani Gallardo on Thursday, making the veteran right-handed pitchers free agents along with five other veterans whose contracts have expired.The club also reinstated left-handed starter Drew Smyly and right-handed reliever David Phelps from the 60-day
SEATTLE -- The Mariners declined the 2018 club options on contracts for Hisashi Iwakuma and Yovani Gallardo on Thursday, making the veteran right-handed pitchers free agents along with five other veterans whose contracts have expired.
The club also reinstated left-handed starter Drew Smyly and right-handed reliever David Phelps from the 60-day disabled list, which puts the pair back on the 40-man roster.
Iwakuma and Gallardo join first basemen Yonder Alonso and Danny Valencia, catcher Carlos Ruiz, outfielder Jarrod Dyson and infielder James Beckham as free agents. The MLB Players Association announced that 149 players around the league became free agents on Thursday morning after the conclusion of the World Series.
Iwakuma could have received a guaranteed $15 million contract for 2018 if he'd pitched 324 innings over the past two seasons, but he fell well short of that after being healthy for only six starts in '17. The Mariners still had a club option on a $10 million deal with the 36-year-old for next year, but instead will pay a $1 million buyout on that option.
The club also will pay a $2 million buyout to Gallardo instead of accepting his $13 million option. When the Mariners acquired Gallardo from the Orioles in a trade for Seth Smith last January, the Orioles included $2 million in the deal.
The Mariners have a five-day window, until Monday at 2 p.m. PT, to re-sign any of their own free agents. After that, players are able to sign with any team.
The Mariners still have a decision to make on Smyly, who missed all of the 2017 season after injuring his elbow in Spring Training and ultimately having Tommy John surgery in July. Smyly isn't expected to be able to begin throwing until midseason next year, at the earliest, so he could be a candidate to be non-tendered or re-sign a new incentive-based contract rather than go to his final year of arbitration eligibility.
Phelps also ended the year on the 60-day disabled list after running into elbow issues following his acquisition from the Marlins on July 20. The 31-year-old went 2-1 with a 3.12 ERA in 10 relief appearances for Seattle and is also arbitration eligible this offseason before becoming a free agent in 2019.
Greg Johns has covered the Mariners since 1997, and for MLB.com since 2011. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB.