Cortes, Gimenez not offered contracts

Right-handed reliever Dan Cortes and versatile catcher Chris Gimenez were non-tendered by the Mariners on Monday night, meaning they were not offered contract renewals at Major League Baseball’s 9 p.m. PT tender deadline.

Cortes and Gimenez thus become free agents.

The Mariners did tender offers to each of their arbitration-eligible players – closer Brandon League, reliever Shawn Kelley and left-handed starter Jason Vargas – and thus will enter the salary arbitration process with those three.

Cortes and Gimenez were not arbitration eligible yet, but the club decided let them go in order to open spots on their 40-man roster, which now stands at 36 players.

Cortes, 24, pitched 10 games for Seattle last season while posting an 0-2 record with a 5.91 ERA (seven runs in 10 2/3 innings) in 10 appearances. He missed the final two weeks of the season after fracturing his right hand in an off-field incident and then underwent shoulder surgery in October.

Gimenez, 28, signed last offseason as a non-roster invitee and began the season with Triple-A Tacoma, but wound up playing in 24 games and hitting .203 with a home run and six RBIs while playing catcher, first base and left field.

Gimenez was well-regarded in the clubhouse and missed several months with a strained oblique after playing through an injury to stay in a game after starting catcher Miguel Olivo was already hurt, so it’s quite possible the Mariners will try to bring him back as a non-roster invitee for a second straight season.

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