Mariners designate Shawn Kelley for assignment

Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE

Seattle DFAs the right-handed reliever just a week after avoiding arbitration with him.

The Seattle Mariners have designated right-hander Shawn Kelley for assignment to make room on their 40-man roster for new catcher Kelly Shoppach, the team has announced.

Kelley, 28, avoided arbitration with Seattle last week by agreeing to a one-year, $935k deal, but now it looks as though he'll be earning that money elsewhere.

Kelley has been a part of the Mariners' bullpen for the last four years. The right-hander missed a majority of the 2011 season to get the graft from a previous Tommy John surgery re-secured to his elbow bone, but showed no ill effects upon his return last season. Kelley turned in the best numbers of his career in 2012, posting a 3.25 ERA and 9.1 K/9 rate in 44⅓ innings of relief.

In parts of four big-league seasons, Kelley owns a 3.52 ERA, 2.7 BB/9 rate, and 8.6 K/9 rate in 120 appearances.

The Mariners now have a little over a week to decide whether to trade, release, or outright Kelley. With his solid bullpen numbers last season, however, it seems most likely that another club will simply claim him off of waivers.

With yesterday's signing of left-hander Joe Saunders, the Mariners will have to drop another player off their 40-man roster in the coming days.

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