With news hitting that J.J. Putz is out for the season and that Billy Wagner had requested that the Red Sox not exercise his 2010 club option upon acquiring him, I thought it'd be interesting to take a look at what contract decisions clubs have to make on top relievers this coming offseason. Let's dive in and try to analyze with what we know so far on some of the more intriguing ones.
- J.J. Putz: Mets hold an $8.6MM club option with a $1MM buyout. Pretty easy call–no chance that's exercised. Depending on Putz's health going into next year–he might be due for surgery–odds are he'll take some sort of incentive-based deal.
- Billy Wagner: Red Sox hold a $8MM club option with $1MM buyout. Unless Wagner flashes unthinkable stuff and helps the Sox hoist a trophy, giving a reliever $8MM coming off of major surgery while pushing 40 might not be too prudent.
- Ryan Franklin: Cardinals hold a $2.75MM club option with $250k buyout. Barring injury or an impending expiration date on a deal with the devil, you can all but guarantee Franklin will be back. He's got an unfathomable 1.11 ERA and 32 saves in 34 chances in 48.2 innings this year for the Redbirds.
- Rafael Betancourt: Rockies hold $5.4MM club option. He's been a valuable set-up man for the Rox, not allowing a run in 11.2 innings since being acquired from the Indians. It's a steeper price to pay in this market, but Betancourt has really stabilized a shaky bullpen and if he keeps pitching at this level they probably have to exercise.
- Luis Vizcaino: Indians hold $4MM option with $500k buyout. Vizcaino will gladly take that half a mil, which will be paid by the Cubs.
- Doug Brocail: Astros hold $2.85MM option with $250k buyout. He's 42 and has been hurt all year. Gotta pass.
- Masahide Kobayashi: Indians hold $3.25MM option wit $250k buyout. Another Indians reliever who will take his buyout money and hope he can latch on to a team.
- Will Ohman: Dodgers hold $2.2MM option with $200k buyout. He was supposed to be a late bargain but has been an injured bust. Unless he can make it back this year and prove useful he'll probably be looking for work again.
- Alan Embree: Rockies hold $3MM option with $250k buyout. The injured Embree will probably be unemployed this winter.