Marmolejos signed a contract
Tuesday with the Rakuten Golden Eagles of Japan's Nippon Professional Baseball.
After being outrighted off the Mariners' 40-man roster in September and then electing free agency less than a month later, Marmolejos likely would have had to settle for a minor-league deal if he wanted to continue playing in affiliated ball in 2022. Rather than going that route, the 28-year-old will instead head overseas at what's likely a higher salary than he would have received on any minor-league deal. Though he mustered a lowly .573 OPS over 122 plate appearances with the Mariners in 2021, Marmolejos earned Triple-A West MVP honors after slashing .338/.439/.672 with 26 home runs across 83 games with Tacoma.