SAN DIEGO -- After leading the Major Leagues with 39 saves, Mark Melancon has become a free agent.
The closer declined his end of a $5 million mutual contract option for 2022, the Padres announced on Friday. Melancon, 36, joined the Padres during Spring Training in February for a $5 million base salary and delivered an All-Star season, with a 2.23 ERA over 64 appearances.
The Padres revealed several other contract decisions:
• Utility player Jurickson Profar exercised his $7.33 million player option.
During Spring Training, Melancon was one of four candidates to be the Padres’ closer in 2021. Even beyond Opening Day, then-manager Jayce Tingler did not publicly designate him as the prime option for ninth-inning duty. Yet Melancon never yielded the role as the other three options -- Drew Pomeranz, Emilio Pagán and Kela -- fell by the wayside because of injuries or performance.
Profar, 28, played five defensive positions in 2021 but posted only a .649 OPS. He played for new Padres manager Bob Melvin with the Athletics in 2019. Stammen, 37, and Johnson, 30, were adaptable workhorses for a bullpen that led the National League in innings pitched in ’21.
Kela, 28, pitched only 10 2/3 innings for the Padres before having Tommy John surgery in May. Marisnick, 30, was a Trade Deadline pickup from the Cubs but played sparingly in San Diego.