A Look At 2011 Club Options

Often times, a club option is an easy call to make. Kerry Wood's $11MM option isn't going to be exercised, and Bill Hall can forget about being paid $9.25MM in 2011. Eric Chavez at $12.5MM? Not happening. On the other side of the coin, Albert Pujols is a no-brainer at $16MM, and there's some easy lower profile calls like Matt Thornton's $3MM option.

But a closer look at some of the options out there makes for some interesting discussion. Let's take a look at a few cases that aren't as black and white:

  • Mark Ellis, $6MM, $500K buyout: Ellis has spent his whole career with the A's, and has enjoyed some fine seasons. From 2007-2008, he was a 6.8 WAR second baseman playing great defense and posting passable, though not outstanding offensive numbers. He's injury-prone, however, and UZR suggests that his defense has suffered the past two seasons. Fangraphs valued his services at $5.2MM in 2009 and $2.8MM so far in 2010. Will he be worth $6MM in 2011? Ellis profiles as a Type B free agent, so letting him walk (assuming he declines arbitration) would net a supplemental pick.
  • Nick Punto, $5MM, $500K buyout: Another injury-prone infielder, Punto's glove does his talking for him. While he's had some passable offensive seasons, he's certainly not a reliable source for production at the plate. Punto's defensive excellence makes him an asset at three positions, but his injuries and and weak bat are reason enough to be hesitant with the option.
  • Jeff Francis, $7MM: Francis has returned after missing all of 2009 to post a 4.56 ERA, which is considerably higher than both his FIP and xFIP suggest it should be. He's on the disabled list again now with shoulder soreness though, and he's totaled just 92.2 innings this season after rehabbing from shoulder surgery until mid-May. A healthy Francis is worth $7MM, but having missed 2009 and being on the DL once again, that's far from a guarantee.
  • Kevin Gregg, $4.5MM for 2011 or $8.75MM for 2011-2012, $750K buyout: Gregg's racking up the strikeouts and saves in his first season as Toronto's closer, but he's also walking hitters at a prolific rate (4.63 BB/9). His ERA is down from last season mostly due to allowing far fewer long balls, but his inconsistency and affinity for free passes make him a risky investment. Like Ellis, Gregg will be a Type B free agent.

These players represent only a handful of the options clubs will be faced with following the 2010 season. You can see other players' options by looking at our 2011 free agent list. While none of these are overly pricey, the difference that a few extra million can make on the free agent market could be sizable. Vladimir Guerrero ($6.5MM), Jim Thome ($1.5MM), and Brett Myers ($5.1MM) are just a few free agents who were inked in this price range last offseason.


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21 Comments on "A Look At 2011 Club Options"


EdinsonPickle
5 years 18 days ago

I would decline all of these options.

Dave_Gershman
5 years 18 days ago

I would actually pick up 2 of those options, and quite frankly, I think possibly 3 will be picked up. Gregg will probably have his 1 year option picked up because I think this is a career year for Gregg. If they pick up his one year option, then it still might be worth it to trade him if you are a team in need of a set up man.

Ellis is one of the fan favorites of the A’s…Bringing him back on a 6 mil deal isn’t that bad.

Jeff Francis really looks like he’s back to himself, this shoulder injury wont keep him out for long. I’d pick up his option simply because I think a healthy Jeff Francis has a lot to offer.

5 years 18 days ago

Magglio Ordonez has a $ 15 million option which will certainly be declined. There was a vesting clause based on plate appearances that is wiped out by Magglio’s broken ankle.

Jhonny Peralta has a $ 7.25 million club option with a $ 250K buyout, which certainly should be declined.

Jose Reyes has an interesting $ 11 million option, which I’d guess will be picked up

Brad Hawpe’s $ 10 million option probably gets declined.

TwinsVet
5 years 17 days ago

I’d bet Dombrowski at least pauses for a few seconds before declining. Cabrera has absolutely fallen off the planet without Maggs in that lineup, and the entire offense has been sputtering. We know they have the money, I think they need to take a look at Magglio. Maybe not a direct option pickup, but spinning it into a 2-yr / $20m deal.

5 years 18 days ago

A deadline deal for Gregg would have been cool.
Francis is probably declined and will need to sign a team-friendly deal to get work. then again, Ben Sheets.

EdinsonPickle
5 years 18 days ago

Ben Sheets has a much better track record, and had been a better pitcher in his career prior to signing his contract with the A’s this year. Francis will be taking a team friendly deal without a doubt.

5 years 18 days ago

I meant how he got $10MM or w/e it was after being out so long when there was absolutely no way any other team was even close to going that high.

Nicolas_C
5 years 18 days ago

The reason Sheets got 10 million is because the A’s didn’t want to be douches and pull a Florida Marlins by pocketing the revenue sharing money. They gave too much to both Crisp and Sheets.

EdinsonPickle
5 years 17 days ago

Ah, my bad. I thought you meant some team would give him a big deal with lots of guaranteed money. Sorry for the confusion.

bigpat
5 years 18 days ago

I’d expect the Rockies to offer Francis a deal with around 2-3M in base salary and some incentives. Even in his prime, he was never a stud but a guy who gives you some decent innings with average stuff. He looks like the same guy after injuries for the most part, so I don’t think there’s a huge risk with bringing him back. However, the reward isn’t nearly as high as the potential of guys like Sheets, Harden, or Bedard. I pray for Twins fans they decline the option on Punto, no reason why he should be making more than 2 million dollars at most. He’s not a useless player, but they always want to miscast him as a starter, and with that kind of money, it’s hard not to.

Prince_Fielders_Donuts
5 years 18 days ago

All those options stink

mrsjohnmiltonrocks
5 years 18 days ago

I see Matt Thornton, Mark Ellis, and Nick Punto’s option picked up.

If the Jays are moving some of their other relief arms, they may pick up Kevin Gregg’s option to make sure they have a solid veteran in their pen.

I would think the Rockies might approach Francis about a new deal -but I thought he was coming off of shoulder surgery, not Tommy John. No matter, he’s risky, but they just don’t have a lot of ML ready starting depth at the moment.

$1742854
5 years 17 days ago

Correct, it was shoulder surgery.

Steve_Adams
5 years 17 days ago

Ah! You’re correct. I’ve edited the post, sorry about that. Just get so used to thinking “Tommy John” when pitchers miss a whole season. Mental lapse — my apologies. Better a late fix than never.

5 years 18 days ago

I imagine a Mark Ellis for Nick Punto trade might actually please both the A’s and the Twins…

RahZid
5 years 18 days ago

One more interesting AL option is the resurgent David Ortiz. $12.5M option with no buy-out. He’s leading the team in HR’s (26) and has a respectable slash line of: .261/.364/.535, but he has gotten off to worrisome starts each of the last 2 years, nearly leading to his benching in both seasons. Ortiz has already stated that he will be seeking a multi-year deal.

What should the Red Sox do?

$1742854
5 years 17 days ago

Thome was the best value FA signing this year, IMO.

5 years 18 days ago

It reminds me of Jarrod Washburn last year. M’s asked for Austin Jackson but eventually fell to Robles and Luke French. There’s a point where your asking high, but at some point you need to lower it or you’re going to turn more and more teams away. He’s not all that special and is 32. This, to me, is the biggest misplay of the Jays (along with Downs and Frasor).

JDog
5 years 18 days ago

yankees fans are hilarious.

moonraker45
5 years 18 days ago

If you can show me one article that states from a legitimate source that AA asked for Montero in a Gregg trade, I’ll wear a yankees hat and tshirt to the rogers center next week

TwinsVet
5 years 17 days ago

2yr/$15m isn’t reasonable?