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Option Predictions: Position Players

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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