With certain contracts, there comes a time when a team would prefer to pay the player to go away and free up a roster spot. For example, two years ago the Tigers ate $14MM in releasing Gary Sheffield and the Phillies assumed $8MM to let Geoff Jenkins go. Here's a look at some big money players who I think stand a chance of being cut this month.
- Oliver Perez, Mets: one year, $12MM. A team insider told ESPN's Adam Rubin three days ago that Perez is highly likely to be released. Today Perez allowed three runs in the first inning of a split-squad game and followed that with a couple of scoreless frames.
- Luis Castillo, Mets: one year, $6MM. Rubin wrote that Castillo "appears destined for the same fate" as Perez, despite the team's unsettled second base situation.
- Carlos Silva, Cubs: one year, $13.5MM. The Cubs are only on the hook for $8MM to Silva this year, as they're receiving $5.5MM from Seattle. The Cubs' last two rotation spots are too early to call, but if Silva continues to pitch poorly in his next few outings and isn't amenable to long relief, the Cubs might have to let him go.
- Armando Galarraga, Diamondbacks: one year, $2.3MM. The D'Backs would only be on the hook for roughly $380K if they release Galarraga by the 15th, whereas Zach Duke's salary is guaranteed. If Aaron Heilman or Barry Enright makes the rotation, Galarraga or Duke would have to slide to the bullpen or be released.
- Barry Zito, Giants: three years, $64.5MM. Most teams would be thrilled with a low 4.00s ERA from their fifth starter, so the idea of releasing Zito was strange from the start.
- Aaron Rowand, Giants: two years, $24MM. The Giants have a crowded outfield, and cutting Rowand makes sense. They've also got Nate Schierholtz, who is out of options.
- Milton Bradley, Mariners: one year, $12MM. Bradley's legal issues aside, Spring Training seems to be going well enough for him. He's even playing center field today. This one is hard to call right now.
- Danys Baez, Phillies: one year, $2.75MM. Baez had a rough first year for the Phillies, but he can probably squeeze his way onto the Opening Day roster.
- Ryan Doumit, Pirates: one year, $5.6MM. Doumit isn't generating much trade interest, but releasing him would be a last resort and probably won't be necessary prior to Opening Day.