Jon Garland loaded a big bag of gear in a rental car. He quietly left the complex a short time later. Back in the clubhouse, his locker was empty. His name card had been removed. His time with the Seattle Mariners is over.

On Friday afternoon, general manager Jack Zduriencik and manager Eric Wedge met with the veteran right-hander and told him it wouldn’t be in the organization’s best interest to guarantee him a spot on the 25-man roster and, more important, a spot in the starting rotation with 10 days remaining until opening day.

“We weren’t prepared to — at this moment in time — commit a roster spot and one of the starting spots in the rotation to Jon (Garland),” Zduriencik said. “There’s still some games left to be played and we couldn’t put ourselves in that position. At this time, we still have a battle going on for a couple spots in the rotation.”

Upon that news, Garland then exercised the opt-out clause in his contract, terminating his commitment to the Mariners. There’s a 24-hour grace period until it becomes official in the eyes of Major League Baseball.

Seattle signed Garland to a minor league contract during the offseason, taking a low-risk flyer on a pitcher with a lot of experience but who hadn’t thrown in a game since 2011. Garland missed all of the 2012 season as he covered from surgery to repair a torn labrum he suffered in 2011.

He was brought in to compete for a starting spot, if healthy, and to bring some major league experience (330 career starts). It worked in 2012 with veteran Kevin Millwood, but it didn’t work in this situation.

“Jon threw the ball well, it was more than just about Jon,” Mariners manager Eric Wedge said. “It was about everybody else involved in it. When you have an out this early in camp, you are put in a position where you have to make a decision.”

The Mariners have two open spots in the rotation behind Felix Hernandez, Hisashi Iwakuma and Joe Saunders. Garland was vying for one of them along with holdovers Erasmo Ramirez and Blake Beavan, veteran Jeremy Bonderman, who was also signed to a minor league contract, and prospect Brandon Maurer.

“We are going to watch these guys pitch,” Wedge said. “We still have multiple people vying for those last two spots. We haven’t made any decisions in regards to who it’s going to be. We still have a little bit of time to do that.”

Those four pitched as well if not better than Garland this spring.

Garland, 34, made four official appearances this spring, posting a 1-0 record with a 2.25 earned run average in 12 innings pitched. However, those numbers don’t include a forgettable outing against the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic. Garland pitched three innings, giving up five runs on six hits — including a three-run homer to former Mariner Wladimir Balentien.

His best outing was his most recent one. On Thursday night, Garland threw six innings, giving up two runs on five hits with three strikeouts and a walk against the Chicago Cubs.