Mariners release veteran outfielder Chavez

Mariners release veteran outfielder Chavez

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Veteran outfielder Endy Chavez was released by the Mariners on Tuesday after opting out of his Minor League contract. Chavez, 37, played 177 games over the past two seasons with Seattle in his second stint with the club.

Two other veterans -- outfielder Franklin Gutierrez and left-hander Joe Saunders -- were released from their Minor League deals, but they were re-signed to Triple-A contracts and will remain with the organization.

All three players were in Mariners camp as non-roster invitees earlier this spring before being reassigned to the Minor League camp as Seattle zeroed in on its final 25-man roster.

Gutierrez didn't play last season as he dealt with health issues, but the 32-year-old was with the Mariners from 2009-13 and won an American League Gold Glove in 2010.

Saunders, 33, is a 10-year Major League veteran who pitched for Seattle in 2013. He was being used as a left-handed reliever this spring.

Chavez, who has played 13 years in the Majors, is a career .270 hitter in 1,151 games. He hit .276 with two home runs and 23 RBIs in 80 games for Seattle last year.

Greg Johns is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @GregJohnsMLB as well as his Mariners Musings blog. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.