Guardado had torn rotator cuff last season

SEATTLE -- Mariners closer Eddie Guardado exercised his $4
million player option Tuesday, one day after the team declined its $6 million option.

The injured left-hander could have become a free agent, but
instead decided to stay with Seattle.

"I understand that they had to make a business decision, but
they made it very clear to me that they wanted me back," Guardado
said. "I appreciate the way they've always dealt with me."

The 34-year-old Guardado was limited to 41 appearances last
season because of injuries. He agreed to a $13 million, three-year
contract last December that included team and player options for
2005 and 2006.

"We had to make a decision on his contract, but by no means
does that reflect our desire to have him back," general manager
Bill Bavasi said. "His rehab has come along very well and he is an
important piece for us."

Guardado went 2-2 with a 2.78 ERA and 18 saves before going on
the disabled list Aug. 2 because of shoulder fatigue. The injury
later was diagnosed as a torn rotator cuff.

He also had arthroscopic surgery Aug. 23 to clean out his left
knee, a nagging injury that dated to spring training.

Guardado saved 41 games in 45 chances for Minnesota in 2003
after getting 45 saves in his first year as a full-time closer in

"I came here to win and that's what I plan on doing," Guardado
said. "I appreciate the fans' support and I am looking forward to
getting to spring training and getting back on track."

When Guardado joined Seattle as a free agent, he was expected to
set up for Kazuhiro Sasaki. Guardado was moved to the closer's role
by spring training because Sasaki decided to return to Japan to be
with his family.