June 1 is a popular day for minor league contracts to include opt-out provisions, meaning a number of veteran players that have been vying for a big league opportunity down in Triple-A have the option of asking for their release and seeking a new contract in free agency. Former Mets prospect Cesar Puello already did so earlier today, opting out of his deal with the Rangers. Here are a few more opt-out notes from around the league…
- Alvarez confirms to Hall that he and the Orioles have worked out “an extension” of his opt-out date, though he declined to specify the date of his new opt-out clause (Twitter link). At any rate, he’ll remain with the Orioles at Triple-A for a bit longer.
- Pedro Alvarez and the Orioles have come to what Dan Connolly of BaltimoreBaseball.com describes as a “temporary resolution” to his opt-out decision. The 30-year-old slugger, who has been on an absolute tear over the past two weeks, is remaining with the team in Triple-A for now, though Connolly notes that it’s not quite clear exactly what the new arrangement entails. (Restructuring an opt-out date is fairly common, sometimes agreeing to a later opt-out date and in some instances allowing a player to leave the organization should another club offer a Major League opportunity.) Connolly also notes that Alvarez’s experiment in the outfield hasn’t gone well, and the O’s are considering him a left-handed-hitting DH at this point, which makes it even more difficult for him to make his way to the big league roster.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports that former big league closer Ernesto Frieri decided not to exercise the June 1 opt-out in his minors pact with the Yankees (Twitter link). Frieri, 32 next month, has turned in a very strong 3.00 ERA with a 24-to-9 K/BB ratio, seven saves and a 33.3 percent ground-ball rate through 21 innings with the Yankees’ Triple-A affiliate. The back of the New York bullpen is strong, even with Aroldis Chapman on the DL at present, but the middle-relief scene is a bit more muddled, so it’s conceivable that Frieri could eventually earn a look in the bigs for the first time since 2015.
- Right-hander Edwin Jackson, who is also with the Orioles’ Triple-A affiliate in Norfolk, told David Hall of the Virginian Pilot this afternoon that he has not yet made a decision (Twitter link). Jackson, who has been working out of the bullpen, tossed three shutout innings of relief last night and is sporting a 3.26 ERA with 15 strikeouts against 10 walks in 19 1/3 innings. He’ll have to make a decision by day’s end unless his representatives can come to some kind of alternative arrangement (as Alvarez appears to have done).