SEATTLE -- The Mariners have declined outfielder Denard Span's $12 million contract option for next year in favor of a $4 million buyout, making the 34-year-old a free agent.
Span, who exercised his part of the option, was acquired by Seattle last May in a trade with Tampa Bay and became one of the Mariners most consistent hitters. Span hit .272 with 15 doubles, seven home runs and 30 RBIs in 94 games with the Mariners, often batting in the middle of Seattle's order. He played 87 of those games in the outfield, almost all in left field.
Span agreed to a $31 million, three-year contract with San Francisco before the 2016 season and earned an additional $4.75 million in performance bonuses and escalators that raised his earnings under the deal to $35.75 million.
He was traded to Tampa Bay from San Francisco last offseason and relished the chance to play where he grew up. But with Seattle needing a left-handed bat after the suspension of Robinson Cano as it tried to contend for a playoff spot, he was traded to the Mariners along with reliever Alex Colome for a pair of minor leaguers.