20 position players face contractual options; the deadline is typically three days after the World Series. About 14% of the regular season remains, but let's make some predictions.
- Ryan Doumit, Pirates: $7.25MM club option for 2012, $8.25MM club option for '13 with a $500K buyout. These options must be decided in tandem after this season, and despite Doumit's production when he's been healthy this year it's highly likely they'll be declined.
- Chris Snyder, Pirates: $6.75MM club option with a $750K buyout. Snyder has missed most of the season due to back surgery, so this will be declined.
- Yadier Molina, Cardinals: $7MM club option with a $750K buyout. This one is a lock to be exercised. Before the 2012 season begins, the Cardinals will have to discuss Molina's next contract.
- Kelly Shoppach, Rays: $3.2MM club option with a $300K buyout. Shoppach has had a rough year, and this is likely to be declined.
- Eric Hinske, Braves: $1.5MM club option with a $100K buyout. Hinske has performed about as expected, so I think this will be exercised.
- Willie Bloomquist, Diamondbacks: $1.1MM mutual option with a $150K buyout. Rarely do we see both sides of a mutual option exercised, so I'll go with declined here.
- Robinson Cano, Yankees: $14MM club option with a $2MM buyout. This will surely be exercised, and his $15MM option for 2013 is looking good too.
- Bill Hall, Giants: $4MM mutual option with a $250K buyout. Not only is this option mutual, but it's kind of an automatic decline since Hall was released by the Astros and later designated for assignment by the Giants.
- Aaron Hill, Diamondbacks: $8MM club option for 2012, $8MM club option for '13. I don't think Hill's hot hitting with Arizona is enough to keep these from being declined.
- Brandon Phillips, Reds: $12MM club option with a $1MM buyout. It sounds like this option will be exercised if an extension can't be worked out, which Phillips would consider a "slap in my face." Yes, a $12MM slap in the face.
- Yuniesky Betancourt, Brewers: $6MM club option with a $2MM buyout. This one is certain to be declined.
- Ronny Cedeno, Pirates: $3MM club option with a $200K buyout. I expect Cedeno's option to be declined, as the Pirates aim to upgrade at shortstop.
- Rafael Furcal, Cardinals: $12MM club option with a $1.3MM buyout. This is an easy choice to decline, though both sides have mutual interest in a new deal.
- Marco Scutaro, Red Sox: $6MM club option/$3MM player option with a $1.5MM buyout. This is a tough one. I think the Red Sox will decline their side of it, and it's possible Scutaro can do a little better and will decline as well.
- Casey Blake, Dodgers: $6MM club option with a $1.25MM buyout. This will certainly be declined.
- Edwin Encarnacion, Blue Jays: $3.5MM club option with a $500K buyout. I agree with MLBTR's Ben Nicholson-Smith; this will be exercised.
- Aramis Ramirez, Cubs: $16MM mutual option. If club declines, Ramirez receives a $2MM buyout. If club exercises and Ramirez declines, he does not receive a buyout. Ramirez has had a strong year, and there's a case for the Cubs to exercise their side since it keeps him on a one-year deal, the team has some money to spend, and the free agent market offers nothing else. I think if the Cubs exercise at that slightly inflated price, Ramirez will not void, despite his desire for a multiyear deal. Ultimately I think in November the club will decline though, and then the two sides will discuss a possible new contract.
- Nate McLouth, Braves: $10.65MM club option with a $1.25MM buyout. Certain to be declined.
- Grady Sizemore, Indians: $8.5MM club option with a $500K buyout. Sizemore's final month should be a big factor here, but I think this will be exercised.
- Nick Swisher, Yankees: $10.25MM club option with a $1MM buyout. This one is an easy choice to exercise.
- I've got 13 position players option being declined, with seven being exercised.
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