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Garland out, race for final two spots in rotation down to four

By Shannon Drayer

The Mariners have made the decision to go with youth in the fourth and fifth spots in the rotation as Jon Garland has opted out of his contract and the team has declined to put him in the rotation.

"We weren't at the moment prepared to commit one of the starting spots in the rotation to Jon," Jack Zduriencik said of the move. "There are still some games left to be played and we just couldn't put ourselves in that position at this time. We still have a battle going on we think for a few spots in our rotation."

As it stands now, there is a twenty-four hour window where Garland can decide whether he will fully exercise the opt out. It appears he will, as he has voiced a few times that he believes there is interest in his services if the Mariners choose not keep him.

In addition to not being ready to commit a rotation spot to Garland, Zduriencik also noted that he wasn't prepared to take someone off the 40 man roster which would be required if Garland made the team.

"It's always difficult," he said. "Is there another player that could make your roster? They (roster spots) become very valuable assets for you so you try to hold on to them."

40-man spots have been a concern of this organization's as they believe they have a good number of prospects that they will need to protect on the roster. While Garland looked like he could help the team in the short term, that perhaps wasn't enough to justify giving up a spot and perhaps losing a young player.

For now it would appear that we will see youth in the rotation as Erasmo Ramirez, Blake Beavan and Brandon Maurer will now battle it out.

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