2013 MLB Free Agency: 10 Team Options That Will Be Declined This Offseason
Every offseason, it would be nice to know exactly who is going to be available. However, many players have options added to their contracts, which allow them to either be a free agent or with the team for another year.
Options are generally declined because the player just simply isn't worth that type of money anymore. Why would you pay a player $16 million if he's been injured the past three seasons or hitting .220?
Here are 10 players who will become free agents this coming offseason for that very reason.
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From 2004-2007, Travis Hafner was a feared slugger, hitting .300 and putting up 100 RBI with ease. As a result, he was signed through 2012, and was easily the Indians' highest paid player.
Since then, he's struggled to stay healthy, and while he's shown flashes of power, he's played over 100 games only once since the contract. I could see the Indians re-signing him for a bargain, but there's no way they'll pay him $13 million.
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I've never been a fan of mutli-year deals for relievers, but when the Diamondbacks gave Putz the two-year contract, it looked like a bargain, especially since he had a great 2011.
This year, however, he's been awful. An 8.18 ERA in 12 games means that even though his option is only $6.5 million, the Diamondbacks would be far better suited plugging in someone like Bryan Shaw rather than go through that again. It doesn't help that aside from Putz, the rest of the bullpen is playing very well.
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Jason Bartlett seemed to fit perfectly with the San Diego Padres, since he was a solid shortstop available for a bargain who could bat just well enough to start everyday.
The Padres may be a poor hitting team, but are they going to pick up a $5.5 million option on a guy hitting .133 in 29 games? Unless his hitting vastly improves fast, there's no way they pick that up, especially since his speed appears gone (no stolen bases yet, which is surprising for him).
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This is a no-brainer considering the Baltimore Orioles gave up on Kevin Gregg long ago. He was already relieved of his closing duties this season, and wasn't that good in 2011 to begin with.
Factor in that he was already the subject of trade rumors yet remains in Baltimore, and the only way the Orioles will be rid of him is when they decline the $6 million option, which they will since Jim Johnson has more than stepped up as the closer.
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Unlike others on this list who have had many issues, David Wright is having an amazing year. He's hitting .408, and looks like the star the Mets thought they had. Why wouldn't they pick up the $16 million option?
In short, the Mets are trying to get him signed long-term. However, if talks break down, and he's still hitting amazingly, then he's going to be traded at the deadline so the Mets can further rebuild, and they can always get him back in free agency.
Either way, I don't see the option being picked up, though on the surface it seems like a no-brainer.
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Gavin Floyd has been a consistently good pitcher for the past five years. He has been a key part of the rotation, and is having a great year this year. Why wouldn't the Chicago White Sox pick up the $9.5 million option on Floyd?
There's two reasons for that. First, if the White Sox wanted to keep Floyd, they would have gotten talks started for a long-term contract, and he wouldn't have been someone that management had on the trade market this past offseason.
Second, I don't trust the White Sox to make that sensible move. After all, both he and John Danks were about as effective, and they gave the money to Danks. Are they really going to pay eight figures to each pitcher?
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Each of the four Milwaukee Brewers starters seems to have their own role. For Randy Wolf, it's the role of the elder statesman, and he served well in that role in 2010 and 2011. However, the other three main pitchers don't really need the veteran assistance, and Wolf has a 5.63 ERA in seven games.
He is someone the Brewers could feasibly keep around in 2013 in hopes that he has a bit of talent left, but there's no way they pick up the $10 million option, especially since they'll be spending the offseason trying to pay Zack Greinke and get him signed long-term.
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It looks like the Kosuke Fukudome experiment will soon be over; I'm not really sure why the $3.5 million option was added to Fukudome's contract, but in any case, it's not going to be picked up.
So far, he's hitting .167 in 20 games as the fourth outfielder for the Chicago White Sox. He's been ineffective for the past couple seasons, and at this point his best option, if he doesn't want to retire, is to head back to Japan and finish his career there, as he at least had success there.
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Jose Contreras easily has one of the smallest options for 2013 at only $2.5 million. Unfortunately, that doesn't stop him from landing here, as it looks like his career is done.
He pitched well in 2010, but only pitched 14 innings last year, and so far he's pitched poorly this year. Sure he got a win last night, but scoreless innings have been rare coming from him. There's no real benefit for the Phillies if they pick up the option.
It's amazing how things can change in a year. If you had told me before the 2011 season that the Red Sox probably won't pick up Youkilis's option in 2013, I would have thought you were crazy.
However, he struggled in 18 games so far this year and was already coming off a 2011 season that was just good for him. Combine that with the rift between him and Bobby Valentine, and I don't think the two can co-exist.
Management will drop Youk before they cut Valentine just given how the numbers add up. Besides, Will Middlebrooks seems to be the real deal, and many teams would love to have Youkilis. Declining the $13 million option would be a win-win, really.