2012 Vesting Options

Vesting options are always worth keeping track of during the season, especially since they can often have consequences that are less than desirable. Last year Magglio Ordonez ($15MM), Kerry Wood ($11MM), and Brian Fuentes ($9MM) all had big money options that did not vest, though Darren Oliver ($3.25MM) and Trever Miller ($2MM) had some smaller ones that did. 

Here is a list of 2012 vesting options to keep an eye on this summer…

  • Bobby Abreu, Angels: $9MM option vests with 433 plate appearances. Abreu hasn't come to the plate fewer than 589 times in a season since 1997, his rookie year.
  • Adam Wainwright, Cardinals: His $9MM option for 2012 and $12MM option for 2013 will lock in as long as he does not finish 2011 on the disabled list. His second place finish in the 2010 Cy Young voting was step one of the vesting process.
  • Aramis Ramirez, Cubs: $16MM option vests if he is named MVP of either the regular season or League Championship Series, or if he is traded at some point in 2011.
  • Rafael Furcal, Dodgers: $12MM option vests with 600 plate appearances. Furcal has come to the plate 600+ times just once in the last three seasons (2009) due to injuries.
  • Jon Garland, Dodgers: $8MM option vests with 190 innings pitched. Garland hasn't thrown fewer than 191 1/3 innings since becoming a full-time starter in 2002.
  • Francisco Rodriguez, Mets: $17.5MM option vests with 55 games finished and if doctors declare him healthy at the end of the season.
  • Koji Uehara, Orioles: $4MM option vests with either 55 appearances or 25 games finished. Uehara hasn't reached either milestone in his first two big league seasons, though he came close in 2010: 43 appearances and 22 games finished.
  • Arthur Rhodes, Rangers: $4MM option vests with 62 appearances and if he's not on the disabled list at the end of the season.
  • Joakim Soria, Royals: $6MM option vests with 55 appearances, which he's done in three of his four big league seasons. The chances of it coming into play are microscopic, but Soria has a $6.5MM option for 2012 that could vest with 334 1/3 innings pitched (400 IP in 2010 & 2011). That was obviously put into his contract in case the team ever moved him into the rotation.
  • Dan Wheeler, Red Sox: $3MM option vests with 65 games; increases to $3.25MM with 70 games.  Wheeler reached 64 games in 2010, but had at least 69 in each of the previous five seasons.

Mark Buehrle is scheduled to become a free agent after the 2011 season and although he doesn't have a traditional option in his contract, he gets an extra year at $15MM tacked onto his current deal if he's traded at some point this season. 

Thanks to Cot's Baseball Contracts for the info.

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