2014 Vesting Options Update

With two months of baseball in the books, here's a look at the players who have vesting options for the 2014 season..

  • Kurt Suzuki, Nationals: $9.25MM option vests with 113 starts in 2013.  Suzuki was slated to split time behind the plate with Wilson Ramos this season, but Ramos' hamstring has forced the club to give the veteran catcher 39 starts thus far (counting tonight's game).  The most recent update on Ramos, courtesy of the Washington Post's Adam Kilgore, says that he'll be sidelined until around July 1st.  If Ramos heals up and takes starts away from Suzuki, it will be a club option worth $8.5MM with a modest $650K buyout.
  • Jamey Carroll, Twins: $2MM option vests with 401 plate appearances. Carroll has 105 PAs in 27 games this season.  The veteran has had more than his needed total in each of the last three seasons with 500+ plate appearances in each of the last two years.
  • Wilson Betemit, Orioles: $3.2MM option vests with 324 plate appearances (combined 700 between 2012 and 2013). Betemit underwent arthroscopic knee surgery on March 26th and a late May update (from Roch Kubatko of MASNsports.com) indicates that he still hasn't been cleared for baseball activities.  
  • Lance Berkman, Rangers: $13MM option vests with 550 plate appearances. So far, Berkman has 199 plate appearances to his credit and is on pace to lock in his 2014 option with ease.  In 2011, his last full season, the slugger racked up 587 PAs.
  • Roy Halladay, Phillies: $20MM option vests with 259 innings pitched (combined 415 innings pitched between '12 and '13).  This was a longshot to begin with, but shoulder surgery earlier this month makes this one impossible.
  • Brett Myers, Indians: $8MM option vests with 200 innings pitched in 2013 and a passed physical after the season.  After logging 21 and 1/3 innings in 2013, Myers was sidelined with tendinitis and a mild ligament sprain in his right elbow and has yet to return.  When he does come back, it's possible that the Tribe will move him to the bullpen.
  • Barry Zito, Giants: $18MM option vests with 200 innings pitched. Zito has racked up 62 and 2/3 innings through eleven starts this season.  It's far from a lock, but as it stands the veteran still has a chance at securing his 2014 salary.  His numbers are strong as he has a 3.88 ERA with 5.6 K/9 and 3.3 BB/9.
  • Johan Santana, Mets: His $25MM option could have vested with 215 innings pitched or winning the 2013 Cy Young Award, but he won't have a chance at that thanks to a season-ending tear in his pitching shoulder.

It's also worth noting that Pirates pitcher Francisco Liriano has a $8MM club option for 2014, but it can vest at any of three levels – $5MM, $6MM, or $8MM – based on the number of days he is not on the DL this year with a recurrence of his right arm injury.  It's not known how many days the hurler must steer clear of right arm trouble in order to trigger each level of his option, however.  The left-hander made his season debut on May 11th.

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