Another day of options decisions around baseball, as we move closer to final deadline on these decisions (Friday at 4pm CT). The decisions today included a couple involving Brandon Kintzler and the Cubs: although they reportedly declined their team option ($10 million), Kintzler will reportedly pick up player option at $5 million.
Options picked up, not free agents, don’t worry about them:
- David Price, LHP, Boston – Does not opt out of remaining four years and $127 million
- Justin Smoak, 1B, Toronto – $8M
- Jeremy Jeffress, RHP, Milwaukee – $3.175M
Options declined, new free agents:
- Gerardo Parra, 31, OF, $12.5M team option, $1.5M buyout – Remember when the Rockies signed Parra to a three-year deal and it seemed really strange? Well, he went on to be a negative WAR player for them in those three years, so that kinda sucks. He may now have to look for a minor league deal to try to win a job in the Spring.
- Jason Hammel, 36, RHP, $12M team option, $2M buyout – It was not a good time for Hammel in his two post-Cubs years with the Royals, with an ERA over 5.50 and plummeting strikeout rate. If he wants to keep going, it’s probably going to be a minor league deal for him.
- Denard Span, 34, OF, $12M team option, $4M buyout – Span remains a league-average or better bat when deployed thoughtfully, but his abilities in the outfield have diminished considerably. Nevertheless, it’s not hard to see him getting a big league deal to be a fourth outfielder somewhere.
- Josh Harrison, 31, UTL, $10.5M team option, $1M buyout – Harrison never came close to matching his enormous season in 2014, on the strength of which he got a healthy extension from the Pirates. That’s an extension now ended by this buyout after a very disappointing (.250/.293/.363, 78 wRC+), injury-filled year for the utility man. He’ll get a big league bench job somewhere, and will have value in that role if he can get back to being a league-average bat.
- Jung-Ho Kang, 31, IF, $5.5M team option, $250K buyout – What a bust of a situation Kang became after two great years to begin his big league career, derailed by his own terrible choices in Korea.
- Jordan Lyles, 28, RHP, $3.5M team option, $250K buyout – Lyles has already had a reasonably long big league career for a young age, and all despite never actually pitching very well. His 4.11 ERA this past season, split between the Padres and Brewers, and split between the rotation and bullpen, was by far the best of his career, and his peripherals mostly supported it. That is to say, for the first time in his career, he was basically a league-average pitcher, so it’s a mild surprise that the Brewers didn’t want to retain him for such a low price. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him get another big league deal for a small guarantee. Not a bad depth guy to have around, given his ability to swing in and out of the rotation. Then again, unless you can get him on a minor league deal, you have to give him a roster spot … and on the Cubs, I’m not sure he’d justify that out of the gate.