A’s Exercise Balfour’s Option, Decline Drew’s

The A's announced that they exercised their club option for Grant Balfour and declined their side of Stephen Drew's mutual option (Twitter link). Balfour will earn $4.5MM to return to Oakland in 2013. Drew, whose option was valued at $10MM, will hit free agency and obtain a $1.35MM buyout. 

Balfour appeared in 75 games for the A's this past season, spending much of the year as Bob Melvin's closer. The 34-year-old right-hander collected 24 saves, posting 8.7 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9 in 74 2/3 innings.

Drew, 29, appeared in 39 regular season games for the A's following the midseason trade that sent him from Arizona to Oakland. The shortstop posted a combined batting line of .223/.309/.348 in 327 plate appearances between the two leagues. He projects as one of the top shortstops available in a free agent class that doesn't feature many impact infielders and could even be a fit in Oakland again. Drew will be free to sign with any team starting Saturday.

48 Responses to A’s Exercise Balfour’s Option, Decline Drew’s Leave a Reply

  1. Snoochies8 3 years ago

    Balfour’s option was obvious, but declining Drew’s? I could easily see him being worth 10 million next year. I don’t really get that unless they plan on overpaying for him now since he’ll probably be pretty well sought after on the FA market

    • Tony DiQuattro 3 years ago

      It would be about a quarter of Oakland’s payroll. He would have plenty of trade value at around $5M but given the past couple of years they wouldn’t get much at $10M.

    • Frank 3 years ago

      your crazy if you think Drew is worth that much money, you can find a cheaper option out in the market

      • Snoochies8 3 years ago

        Cheaper, yes, better? Definitely not

        edit: unless Peralta’s option is (unlikely) declined….but even he would cost about the same as Drew

        • Frank 3 years ago

          find somebody better who bats 238 with 7 homeruns?

          Yunel Escobar in a trade? Rodney Cedano can hit better then that for a lot cheaper

          • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

            wow. just wow

            first of all he played half the season after missing a year from baseball.

            his 162 game average is .265/.328/.433 with 36 doubles & 15 Hr’s

            that is NOT replaceable from an current FA SS. and would be extremely difficult to get in a trade.

          • Snoochies8 3 years ago

            A) definitely not Cedeno, and not in a park like the Coliseum

            B) Drew walked at an 11% clip this year and still put up a 700 OPS in his stint with the A’s while getting robbed on hard hit balls oh so many times (all this being SSS, I know)

            He showed a lot of improvement coming back from the injury. He’s worth the money

          • Iconoclast17 3 years ago

            Look at it this way: Oakland’s payroll was $59.5 million, lowest in MLB in 2012. No way you give Drew 1/6 of the total payroll. Beane was renting him for the two months and never intended to pick up the option.

            Yes, BB does have something up his sleeve. We’ll just have to wait and see who he acquires to play SS. I wouldn’t be surprised if Smith and/or Gomes won’t be back either.

    • coachofall 3 years ago

      It was a mutual option….declining it was a formality as he and Boras have already stated they would be searching for a longer term deal.

      • Snoochies8 3 years ago

        Then let him decline his end of the option and not have to pay the buyout

        • Wade 3 years ago

          I think he gets the buyout even if he’s the one that declines the option.

          • Snoochies8 3 years ago

            I’m pretty sure he doesn’t if he declines his end of the option

          • Wade 3 years ago

            I’m not sure and can’t think of a way to find out, but maybe that’s a condition in the new multi-year contract they are going to announce later today. =]

            I don’t see this being a good move. Ugh

          • Snoochies8 3 years ago

            I really hope they work out a 2 or 3 year deal with him, if not, turn to the Indians and see if they could work something out for Asdrubal surrounding Smith and some pitching.

          • Wade 3 years ago

            Yes, Asdrubal would be my second choice as well. I really like Smith, but the A’s could afford to trade him because they have Moss who is a left handed outfielder. Good idea.

          • melonis_rex 3 years ago

            Cot’s doesn’t distinguish as to whether he gets the buyout if he declines (which it usually does if its different), so I assume the buyout is paid regardless of who declines.

        • coachofall 3 years ago

          pretty sure they would have had to pay the buyout regardless

  2. qbass187 3 years ago

    Calling it now! Drew ends up a RED SOX with a 1 yr. Boras special “Pillow contract”.

    • DerekJeterDan 3 years ago

      This is something I could see getting done as well. Ciriaco is great in
      his role as utility man but he’ll be overexposed playing everyday.
      Iglesias has proven his bat is just not up to par at the major league
      level. Drew makes sense in Boston. Other fits include the Rays (who can’t live with Elliot Johnson botching plays anymore) and the Pirates (who need an improvement over Clint Barmes in the worst way) but I like the Boston fit best.

      • qbass187 3 years ago

        Definitely, but considering his agent I’d say the likeliness of a Rays $$ deal is slim.

    • danburrito 3 years ago

      coming from a sox fan, he would be a great fit. He seems like he would be able to handle the media, and we need a shortstop that can hit AND field. Iglesias is an incredible fielder, but he has shown that he can’t hit major league pitching.

  3. Tacho Bill 3 years ago

    The Pirates should go after Drew. I know it won’t happen, but please.

  4. Frank 3 years ago

    Drew will end up with the Rays on a 1 yr deal

  5. Red Sox Bound!

  6. D.J. Wilson 3 years ago

    Uh oh so if we traded Cliff and now declined Drew, what do we do?? We need 2 SS’s now! Trade Smith or at last resort, Coco

    • Wade 3 years ago

      Why Smith?

      • Snoochies8 3 years ago

        Team control, may be a little expensive for a 5th outfielder/DH. Could use Moss in Smith’s exact role, plus Moss can play 1B too.

      • D.J. Wilson 3 years ago

        Yeah what snoochies8 said. He’s unneeded.

  7. corey23 3 years ago

    Beane has to be up to something… kind of odd trading cliff then declining this though.

    • letsgogiants 3 years ago

      Not really. As much as the A’s need Drew at SS, he’s not worth 10 mil. given the amount of injuries he has had the last couple of seasons. I think it would be wise for Drew to sign a 1 year deal with someone to restore his value. If he can stay healthy for an entire season and replicate the numbers he did from 2008-10, then he’ll be a much sought after commodity then he is now and could more realistically get a multi-year deal.

  8. Wade 3 years ago

    I hope the A’s have a good plan for SS. I also hope that the plan has nothing to do with Escobar or Andrus. Having a good SS made a weak hitting 2B manageable, but a weak hitting 2B and SS in the same lineup is painful.

    • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

      Andrus is ‘weak’ ? lol

      • Wade 3 years ago

        No, Andrus is just one guy I would hate to have on my team. Escobar also. ‘Weak’ was referring to when the A’s had Pennington/Weeks as the middle infield.

        • Lunchbox45 3 years ago

          Why would you hate to have Andrus on your team?

          As a guy who starts off by saying you hope the A’s have a good plan for SS, its a little weird

          • Wade 3 years ago

            I think a big part of why the A’s were so successful was because of their comradery and their lack of big egos. I don’t think Andrus would fit into this mold and could ruin the clubhouse.

          • Snoochies8 3 years ago

            A’s could very much use his production, just not his attitude

    • Iconoclast17 3 years ago

      Sizemore or grant Green might surprise you at second base re: hitting. Weeks is on the Barton train to nowhere in Oakland.

      • Snoochies8 3 years ago

        Re: Weeks, BABIP took a huge drop this year, as well as the line drive rate, and the groundball rate took a spike. His walk rate was good and the k rate was really good,

        He still has a lot of upside, and selling low or giving up on him just is not smart at this point.

  9. I wouldn’t be surprised if the A’s were able to get Drew at something more reasonable, like 3 years 21 million or something. They think Addison Russell is SS of the future, hopefully he pans, out he looks like he will be a great player.

  10. Lefty_Orioles_Fan 3 years ago

    Balfour is awesome and a fan favorite in Oakland.
    Drew is a bit surprising, unless Beane knows he isn’t 100% or lost a step due to that injury. I dunno. What I do know or at least I think I know the A’s really don’t have anything lined up to replace him and the free agent market is thin for ShortStops.

    • Lookouts400 3 years ago

      And they just traded Pennington to get Chris Young. Makes you wonder.

  11. Oriolesfan90 3 years ago

    Balfour was decent with Tampa. Thanks for picking him up and getting him out of Tampa.

  12. jwsox 3 years ago

    Whitesox?? Have drew play second and move beckham back to third? Or move alexi to 3rd?

  13. Kendall Adkins 3 years ago

    Cards could play Drew at 2nd, then move him to SS when Furcal’s contract is up (aka slide him over when Furcal inevitably gets hurt). I’d go 3 years, 18 million.

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