Yorvit Torrealba opts out of contract and hits open market

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Yorvit Torrealba joined the free agent mix by declining his $3.5 million mutual option for 2011, which is somewhat surprising given that he was able to get just a one-year, $1.25 million deal as a free agent last offseason and didn’t have a particularly special year for the Padres.

Torrealba played well in a part-time role, hitting .271/.343/.378 in 363 plate appearances while splitting time behind the plate with Nick Hundley, but if he didn’t generate very much interest as a 31-year-old free agent it’s hard to imagine teams lining up for him as a 32-year-old free agent.

This year’s crop of free agent catchers is a deep one, with Victor Martinez headlining a group that also includes John Buck, Ramon Hernandez, A.J. Pierzynski, Jason Varitek, Gerald Laird, Rod Barajas, Miguel Olivo, and Bengie Molina. In other words, there’s a pretty good chance Torrealba will end up signing for less than the $3.5 million he just turned down from the Padres.

Someone stole the bat from the Ken Griffey, Jr. statue at Safeco Field

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The Mariners unveiled a statue of Hall of Fame outfielder Ken Griffey, Jr. earlier this year at Safeco Field, featuring the slugger in his famous follow-through seen after each of his 630 career home runs. Chris Daniels of KING 5 News in Seattle reported on Tuesday evening that someone had stolen the bat from the statue.

Thankfully, the Seattle Police Department announced that the bat has been recovered and a suspect has been arrested. They expect to provide more details later. Daniels reports the Mariners have confirmed the news.

My fellow Americans, our long national nightmare is over.