It’s been a little more than a month since we last checked in on the vesting options from around the league. Here’s where this year’s collection of players with vesting options for the following season stand…
- Coco Crisp ($13MM option vests at 550 plate appearances or 130 games played in 2016): Crisp was hitting .234/.304/.405 at the time of my initial look at this group of players, but his bat has gone in the tank since that time. The 36-year-old switch-hitter has batted just .212/.235/.343 in 102 plate appearances since that time, but he’s continued to see playing time in part due to injuries elsewhere on the roster (Josh Reddick, Mark Canha). Crisp is still on pace to come in a bit shy of that 550 PA mark, and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a reduced role upon Reddick’s return to health, as the A’s probably don’t love the idea of paying him $13MM for his age-37 campaign when he’s struggling to this level in 2016.
- Matt Holliday ($17MM option vests with Top 10 finish in MVP voting): Holliday is having a strong season, as he’s proven that the power outage he experienced last season was more anomaly than a portent for significant decline. However, he’s hitting .257/.332/.478 — numbers that help the Cardinals but won’t make him a factor in MVP voting barring a mammoth finish to the 2016 season.
- Chris Iannetta ($6MM option vests with 100 games started in 2016): Iannetta has already started 55 games for the Mariners this season, making it seem very likely that he’ll be around in Seattle for the 2017 campaign as well. He hasn’t set the world on fire in his first year with the Mariners, but he’s hitting .237/.337/.395, which translates to an OPS+ of 104 and a wRC+ of 105. (Put another way: he’s been about four to five percent above the league-average hitter after adjusting for his pitcher-friendly home park.)
- Yusmeiro Petit ($3MM option vests with 80 innings pitched in 2016): At last check, Petit was on pace to see his option vest, but he’s been used very sparingly in the month of June, totaling just six innings thus far after combining for 26 innings in April and May. Given his status as a multi-inning reliever, he could pick up some additional innings in a hurry, but as it stands, he’s behind pace to see that payday locked in automatically. Of course, he’s also posted a 2.81 ERA in those 32 innings, so the Nats may simply pick up his option even if it doesn’t automatically trigger. To this point, he’s pitched well enough that it seems like a fairly easy call.
- CC Sabathia ($25MM option vests if he does not end season on DL with shoulder injury or miss 45+ games in 2016 due to shoulder injury): Sabathia’s option seems likely to vest, as his shoulder has remained healthy this season. However, what once looked like an egregious overpay can perhaps be seen in a different light for the time being. While few would argue that the Yankees shouldn’t mind paying Sabathia that sum in 2017, his contract looks considerably better than it did last year. The former Cy Young winner has made 11 starts this season and has posted a resurgent 2.20 ERA with 7.7 K/9 against 3.7 BB/9. Sabathia has benefited from some good fortune in terms of homer-to-flyball ratio and strand rate, but this is the best he’s looked since 2012.
- Kurt Suzuki ($6MM option vests with 485 plate appearances in 2016): Suzuki’s overall production this season has been well below average, but since the last of these updates he’s batting a considerably improved .268/.297/.394 with a pair of homers in 74 PAs. That’s a bit better than the league-average catcher, but the Twins still don’t seem inclined to allow his option to vest. Suzuki has totaled just 158 plate appearances this season even with John Ryan Murphy, his projected replacement, floundering in the Majors and getting optioned to Triple-A (where his struggles have continued). Journeyman Juan Centeno is getting some time behind the dish as well (61 PAs) for the Twins as well. It seems unlikely that Minnesota will allow Suzuki to average 3.5 PAs per game over the final 93 contests after he’s averaged just 2.3 per game thus far.
As noted in the original update, both Nick Swisher and Michael Bourn had vesting options for the 2017 season as well, but those options were negated when each was released from the four-year contracts they initially signed with the Indians.