Seattle Mariners

Mariners release Casey Lawrence so he can pitch in Japan

Seattle Mariners pitcher Casey Lawrence warms up during the first inning of a spring training baseball game against the Chicago White Sox Friday, March 23, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. The Mariners and White Sox game ended in a 5-5 tie. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)
Seattle Mariners pitcher Casey Lawrence warms up during the first inning of a spring training baseball game against the Chicago White Sox Friday, March 23, 2018, in Glendale, Ariz. The Mariners and White Sox game ended in a 5-5 tie. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin) AP

The Seattle Mariners granted Casey Lawrence’s release from his contract on Thursday so the right-hander can seek an opportunity to play in Japan.

Lawrence requested unconditional release waivers and he was removed from the Mariners’ 40-man roster after spending time with both Triple-A Tacoma and the Mariners throughout the past season. He began 2018 on the Mariners’ Opening Day roster.

The Mariners’ 40-man roster is now at 35 players.

Lawrence wasn’t even going to play baseball when he went to NCAA Division III Albright College in Pennsylvania. He was a basketball player, but midway through converted to baseball and made his way into the pros as an undrafted free agent in 2010.

He made 11 relief appearances with the Mariners and allowed 19 runs in 23 1/3 innings. He started 16 games for the Rainiers and went 7-5 with a 3.31 ERA with 89 strikeouts in 98 innings.

This comes after left-hander Ariel Miranda asked for a similar release during this past season and signed with the Fukuoka SoftBank Hawks of Nippon Professional Baseball.

TJ Cotterill is the Seattle Mariners and MLB writer for The News Tribune. He started covering MLB full-time in 2018, but before that covered Ken Griffey Jr.’s Hall of Fame induction in Cooperstown, the U.S. Open at Chambers Bay and spent seven years writing about high schools, including four as TNT’s prep sports coordinator. Born and raised in Washington.

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