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Seven M’s now free agents

Pitcher Chris Young was one of seven Mariners to automatically become free agents on Wednesday. (Associated Press)
Pitcher Chris Young was one of seven Mariners to automatically become free agents on Wednesday. (Associated Press)
Bob Dutton Tacoma News Tribune

Let the baseball offseason begin.

Some 121 players became free agents Wednesday night when San Francisco third baseman Pablo Sandoval clutched a foul pop by Kansas City’s Salvy Perez for the final out in a 3-2 victory in the seventh game of the World Series.

That list, released Thursday by the players association, includes Sandoval, who played a major role in helping the Giants win their third title in five years.

Seven Mariners became free agents: pitchers Joe Beimel and Chris Young, catcher Humberto Quintero, first baseman/designated hitter Kendrys Morales, and outfielders Endy Chavez, Chris Denorfia and Franklin Gutierrez.

An eighth Mariner, outfielder/first baseman Corey Hart, became a free agent earlier this month when he rejected an outright assignment after clearing waivers.

Gutierrez spent the past season on the restricted list because of health issues.

Players are no longer required to file for free agency. Those who are eligible become free agents when the Series concludes.

There are another 32 players who could become free agents pending the resolution of contract options, which must be decided by Saturday – i.e., within three days of the Series concluding.

The Mariners have no players with unresolved contract options.

Clubs hold exclusive negotiating rights with their former players for five days – through Nov. 3. Clubs also must decide whether to extend qualifying offers of $15.3 million by 2 p.m. Monday Pacific time.

Those qualifying offers permit a club to receive an additional draft choice next June as compensation if that player rejects the offer and signs elsewhere. Players have one week to accept or reject the offer.

At 9:01 p.m. Monday, free agents are permitted to negotiate and sign with other clubs. (The deadline corresponds to 1 minute after midnight Tuesday Eastern time.)

Wills among finalists

Former Mariners manager Maury Wills is one of 10 finalists on the Golden ERA (1947-72) ballot for election to the Hall of Fame.

Wills, 82, was the National League’s Most Valuable Player in 1962 when he stole a then-record 104 bases for the Los Angeles Dodgers.

He managed the Mariners from Aug. 4, 1980 to May 5, 1981.

The Golden Era ballot is part of a revolving three-year cycle by which the Hall of Fame reviews players or personnel overlooked or not eligible for election in annual balloting by the Baseball Writers’ Association of America.

Others on this year’s ballot: Dick Allen, Ken Boyer, Gil Hodges, Bob Howsam, Jim Kaat, Minnie Minoso, Tony Oliva, Billy Pierce and Luis Tiant.

The 16-member committee will convene and vote Dec. 8 at the Winter Meetings in San Diego. Finalists must receive 12 votes – 75 percent – for election to the Hall.

Spring training

Ready to look ahead to next season? The Mariners announced their 2015 reporting dates Thursday for spring training at their year-round complex in Peoria, Ariz.

Pitchers and catchers report Feb. 20 and begin workouts on Feb. 21. The rest of the squad reports Feb. 24.

The first full-squad workout is Feb. 25.

2015 odds

The Mariners are an 18-1 shot to win the 2015 World Series in odds already posted by, an online gaming site. That ranks fourth among American League clubs.

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