Instead of rehashing the usual Jacque Jones/Jose Capellan trade rumors, let’s take a stab at predicting whether teams will exercise their 2008 options.
Ivan Rodriguez – $13MM with $3MM buyout. Pudge will be 36 in 2008, but his defensive value and continued pop seem to justify the $10MM difference. Exercised.
Adam Dunn – $13MM. What team wouldn’t sign Dunn to a one-year, $13MM contract for his age 28 season? There’s a chance the Reds will cut ties – maybe 25%. It might be that they talk a big game, complain about his strikeouts, but ultimately exercise it. The Cardinals took this route with Jim Edmonds last year. Even if Wayne Krivsky exercises it and then shops Dunn, it’d be better than just letting him walk to save the money. Exercised.
Marcus Giles – $4MM. I know, it’s just 75 ABs. But Giles looks rejuvenated as a Padre, hitting .347/.386/.493. At this price Kevin Towers can’t go wrong. Exercised.
Juan Uribe – $5MM. Uribe is doing his usual thing, hitting for power with no plate discipline. Combined with good defense at a premium position, this is worth the price. The White Sox don’t have any viable alternatives. Exercised.
Cesar Izturis – $5.45MM. Lou Piniella doesn’t seem very tolerant of Izturis’s anemic bat, opting to get Ronny Cedeno’s anemic bat in the lineup in recent days. It would be a feather in Jim Hendry’s cap if Izturis cemented himself as the Cubs’ shortstop, as he was the return in the Greg Maddux trade. But I think the Cubs will look for something better at short, and at least entertain Alex Rodriguez. Declined.
Geoff Jenkins – $9MM. If Jenkins continues to sit against lefties, he can put up his best rate stats in a while. But I don’t see the Brewers volunteering for another season with a $9MM platoon player. Declined.
Bobby Abreu – $16MM. He’s off to a nice start, but has just two extra-base hits. This option is going to be a tough call. If Abreu scores 140 runs or something, can Cashman really cut him loose? On the other hand, are the Yankees going to be paying $16MM for another Brian Giles next year? It could go either way, but I’ll say Declined.
Jose Guillen – $9MM. Too early to tell, but that’s the fun of this exercise. One certainty is that Jim Bowden is glad he didn’t give Guillen that five year, $50MM deal he wanted. Since we haven’t seen signs of life from Guillen since 2005, I’ll go with Declined.
Shawn Green – $10MM. No chance the Mets want him around in ’08 at that price. Declined.
Randy Wolf – $9MM. Yes, Wolf’s contract was a huge bargain, but it was more a hometown discount than a brilliant move by Ned Colletti. Any GM would’ve taken him at that price. Wolf doesn’t need to maintain his 3.38 ERA to justify the option; he just needs to toss 200 innings with an ERA in the low 4s. Exercised.
Paul Byrd – $8MM. This should be an easy one for Mark Shapiro, as he’s got plenty of cheap pitching talent in the pipeline. Even with the price of pitching as it is, a 37 year-old Byrd isn’t worth it. Declined.
Kris Benson – $7.5MM. With another year of mediocrity, Benson might’ve gotten this exercised. However, rotator cuff surgery makes this an easy decision. Declined.
Odalis Perez – $9MM. Dayton Moore got a half-price deal on Perez, as the Dodgers are picking up some of the tab. It was a reasonable gamble, and hopefully he can spin Odalis for something this summer. No team is picking up that option though. Declined.
Jason Isringhausen – $8MM. Assuming Izzy stays healthy, the Cards will be happy to pick this one up. So far, so good in the early going. Quite a recovery for a guy thought to be finished last August. Exercised.
Your turn – where do you disagree? Abreu, Dunn?