Dennis Martinez, struggling to recapture the form that resulted in 241 career victories, was put on waivers by the Seattle Mariners on Saturday for the purpose of giving him his unconditional release.
Martinez, 42, was 1-5 with a 7.71 ERA in nine starts. He leads active pitchers in wins, and is two short of tying Juan Marichal for the most victories by a Latin pitcher.
Seattle manager Lou Piniella told Martinez earlier this month that he would be allowed two more starts to try to reverse his fortunes. But Martinez lost to Baltimore on May 17 and was tagged Wednesday for seven runs in 1-2/3 innings at Anaheim.
Martinez did not win in his last seven starts for Seattle. He recently said he would try to sign with another team if the Mariners released him.
The Mariners announced the move before a game at Kansas City. Pitcher Mike Maddux was promoted from Triple-A Tacoma to fill Martinez’s spot.
“The organization appreciates Dennis’ efforts, but we felt now was the best time to go with a younger starter in the rotation,” said Lee Pelekoudas, the Mariners’ director of baseball administration.
The Mariners, who began the night one game behind first-place Texas in the A.L. West, will use 23-year-old Derek Lowe to fill Martinez’s slot in the rotation.
Martinez is 241-187 lifetime with a 3.70 ERA. Among his victories was a perfect game for the Montreal Expos against L.A. in 1991.