Tracking the status of MLB’s option decisions

Continue checking back with this list, as more players’ options are picked up or declined.

It’s been three days since the World Series ended, and already things have begun to take shape for next season. Players have already had their options declined or exercised, and the group of players who won’t be returning to their 2015 team is a rather interesting group of names. Let’s take a look.

Exercised Options:

Jose Bautista, RF, TOR

Edwin Encarnacion, DH, TOR

R.A. Dickey, SP, TOR

Jaime Garcia, SP, STL

Joaquin Benoit, RP, SD

Brendan Ryan, SS, NYY

Clay Buchholz, SP, BOS

Adam Lind, 1B, MIL

Josh Collmenter, SP, ARI

Brad Ziegler, RP, ARI

Most of this was pretty much expected. No one really imagined the Blue Jays trio would reach free agency, and neither would Jaime Garcia. As for surprises, Adam Lind and Clay Buchholz stand out in that regard. Adam Lind had a very strong year, but at 31 years old doesn’t necessarily fit the Brewers rebuild plan. He likely is being retained as some veteran experience who they will try to trade at the deadline. Clay Buchholz is a really, really surprising option pick-up. He was solid last season, but also battled injuries after a miserable 2014 campaign. On top of that, it’s a whopping $13 million option. That’s money that could be better invested for the Red Sox as they look to clean up the mess that was their starting rotation in 2015.

Declined Options:

Justin Morneau, 1B, COL

Joe Nathan, RP, DET

Chad Qualls, RP, HOU

Andrew Bailey, RP, NYY

Clint Barmes, SS, SD

Maicer Izturis, UTIL, TOR

Jonathan Broxton, RP, STL

Nate McLouth, OF, WSH

Casey Janssen, RP, WSH

Alexei Ramirez, SS, CHW

Ryan Raburn, DH, CLE

Alex Rios, OF, KC

Jeremy Guthrie, SP, KC

Cory Luebke, RP, SD

David Murphy, OF, LAA

So far not a great crop of players with declined options, but there are some intriguing ones. Alexei Ramirez is still a starting caliber shortstop, and has San Diego written all over him. Justin Morneau has struggled with injuries, but is still a quality bat when he’s healthy, though he is almost certainly more fit as a designated hitter now. There’s a surplus so far of veteran relievers, but one has to wonder how much Joe Nathan and Chad Qualls really have left.

 

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