As we enter July, let's check on the players who are hoping to lock in their options for the 2014 season..
- Kurt Suzuki, Nationals: $9.25MM option vests with 113 starts in 2013. The Nats planned to have Suzuki split time at catcher with Wilson Ramos, but Suzuki has started 59 games (counting tonight's game against the Brewers) behind the plate thanks to Ramos' hamstring troubles. Ramos is currently rehabbing in the minors, however, and he could be back in action for the club on Thursday, according to the latest update from Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post. Suzuki is slashing just .226/.286/.332, so it stands to reason that Ramos will see the lion's share of starts if he stays healthy. If Suzuki doesn't reach 113 starts, the Nats will have an $8.5MM club option with a $650K buyout.
- Jamey Carroll, Twins: $2MM option vests with 401 plate appearances. 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 but has just 146 PAs so far.
- 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 just resumed baseball activities late last week. Couple that with Manny Machado holding down third base and it's hard to see Betemit's option vesting.
- Lance Berkman, Rangers: $13MM option vests with 550 plate appearances. So far, Berkman is has 268 plate appearances through 64 games this season. Berkman scared the baseball world when he took a tumble down the stairs of the team plane and tweaked his troublesome right knee, but the injury is said to be minor and shouldn't cost him serious time. 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 anyway, but shoulder surgery in May makes this an impossibility.
- 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 is still working towards his return. When he does come back, the Tribe will move him to the bullpen.
- Barry Zito, Giants: $18MM option vests with 200 innings pitched. Zito has 91 and 1/3 innings to his credit through 16 starts this season. He'll still need some things to go in his favor, but so far his chances of locking up 2014 are still alive.
- 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.
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 an injury to his non-throwing arm. However, it's not known how many days he has to avoid missing time due to his right arm trouble in order to trigger each level of his option. Liriano returned to action on May 11th and has looked strong in ten starts. The left-hander has a 2.23 ERA on the year with 9.9 K/9 and 3.4 BB/9.