The Dodgers have declined the team’s club options on starter Bronson Arroyo, reliever Joel Peralta, and infielder Chase Utley, the team announced (h/t to J.P. Hoornstra of the Los Angeles News Group, on Twitter). That trio will all hit the open market with the move. It would be hard to call any of the decisions a surprise, as all three veterans had their issues in 2015.
The aging Arroyo missed the entire year with Tommy John surgery, but still changed hands twice. He was moved to the Dodgers as part of a huge trade deadline swap with the Braves, who had previously taken on his salary in order to add prospect Touki Toussaint. The $4.5MM buyout on his $11MM option, then, will remain the responsibility of the Atlanta organization.
Peralta’s deal, which was signed with the Rays when now-Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman was in charge there, included three successive $2.5MM options. None include buyout obligations. The first of those was picked up, but the 2016 version proved too costly after Peralta managed only 29 innings of 4.34 ERA pitching on the year. (More worrisome, perhaps, are his fading strikeout numbers and time missed due to a neck injury.)
As for Utley, who was picked up in an August swap, the $2MM buyout on his $15MM vesting option will be paid by the Phillies. Utley’s contract, like Peralta’s, included a trio of options. A mid-season break due to ongoing ankle issues kept Utley shy of the vesting requirement (500 plate appearances), and the 36-year-old never really got going at the plate with either organization. He ended up with a composite .212/.286/.343 batting line — by far his lowest output since he established himself as a regular in 2005.