Lerud was released by the Mariners on Thursday, Bob Dutton of the Tacoma News Tribune reports. The Mariners designated catcher Rob Brantly for assignment earlier in the week, and there wasn't enough room on Triple-A Tacoma's roster after Brantly cleared waivers and headed to Tacoma, so fellow catcher Lerud ended up being the casualty. Given that he has only been a mediocre hitter in the minor leagues the past two seasons, his best chance to get another contract will be to sign a minor league deal with another organization looking for more catching depth.
Lerud signed a minor league contract with the Mariners on Wednesday that includes an invitation to spring training. Lerud spent the last two seasons at the Triple-A level, most recently slashing .238/.320/.301 with the Triple-A affiliate of the Washington Nationals. With Chris Ianetta, Steve Clevenger, and Mike Zunino expected to see major league time, the 31-year-old will likely just act as organizational depth at the catcher position.
The Nationals announced Friday they reassigned infielder Cutter Dykstra, infielder Emmanuel Burriss, catcher Steven Lerud, infielder/outfielder Kila Ka'aihue, outfielder Derrick Robinson and pitcher Manny Delcarmen to minor-league camp.
The Nationals announced the minor-league signings of outfielder Mike Carp and catcher Steven Lerud on Tuesday, per the team's official website. Both players will receive an invitation to big-league spring training. Carp hit .175/.289/.230 over 126 at-bats last season, 86 of which came with Boston. Lerud has only 15 career plate appearances.
The Braves have invited 22 non-roster players to participate in major-league spring training, highlighted by pitcher Jason Hursh and infielder Tommy La Stella, MLB.com reports. The Braves' other invitees include pitchers Lay Batista, J.R. Graham, Mark Lamm, Cody Martin, Yunesky Maya, Daniel Rodriguez, Gus Schlosser, Atahualpa Severino, Shae Simmons and Ian Thomas; catchers Matt Kennelly, Steven Lerud, Braeden Schlehuber and Jose Yepez; outfielder Matt Lipka; and infielders Mat Gamel, Phil Gosselin, Tyler Greene, Mark Hamilton and Edward Salcedo. The Braves' first-round pick in the 2013 amateur draft, Hursh allowed two earned runs in 27 innings while striking out 15 and walking 10 at Class A Rome in his first season with the organization. La Stella, who could compete for a starting role at second base, hit .343/.422/.473 with four home runs, 41 RBI and seven stolen bases in 283 at-bats with Double-A Mississippi last season.