SEATTLE, July 16 (UPI) -- Veteran first baseman John Olerud said he knew he might be released by the Seattle Mariners but it was still "kind of a shock" when it happened.
The 35-year-old former batting champion was released Thursday in a continuing roster shakeup by the Mariners.
"John Olerud has been a very important part of the Mariners, and this community, for the last five years," General Manager Bill Bavasi said. "Decisions like these are never easy."
Olerud, a 16-year-veteran and .295 career hitter, won the American League batting title with Toronto in 1993. He was hitting .245 with five home runs and 22 RBI in 78 games this season.
"It comes as kind of a shock, but I knew that it was a possibility that this could happen," the veteran said. "I'm not mad at the Mariners. I put them in a tough position by not playing well. It's been disappointing and frustrating."
In other moves, the Mariners released 41-year-old catcher Pat Borders, who was batting just .189; purchased the contracts of pitcher George Sherrill and infielder Bucky Jacobsen from Triple-A Tacoma, and activated catcher Miguel Olivo from the disabled list.