Henry Blanco declines Arizona option

PHOENIX -- Catcher Henry Blanco has declined his end of a $1.15 million mutual option for 2012 with the Arizona Diamondbacks.

The Diamondbacks exercised their options on Blanco and infielder Willie Bloomquist on Monday, but both opted to become free agents. Arizona also declined options on left-hander Zach Duke and infielder Aaron Hill.

Blanco hit .250 with eight homers and 12 RBIs as Arizona's backup catcher. The 40-year-old from Venezuela served as a mentor for young All-Star catcher Miguel Montero and was a sturdy leader in the clubhouse for a team that reached the playoffs after consecutive 90-loss seasons.