The Rockies have declined their $2.5MM club option over utility infielder Alexi Amarista, reports MLB.com’s Thomas Harding. Amarista will receive a $150K buyout and head back into the free-agent market this winter. Harding also notes that Greg Holland’s player option has now been formally declined — an outcome that had been previously reported upon.
Amarista inked a one-year pact with the Rox last winter after spending the majority of his career with the division-rival Padres. Amarista’s role in Colorado was a limited one, as he appeared in just 96 games and totaled 176 plate appearances. While he gave first-year Rox skipper Bud Black some versatility on the defensive end of the spectrum — Amarista saw time at second base, shortstop, third base and in all three outfield spots — the 28-year-old wasn’t able to provide any value at the plate.
In his 176 PAs, Amarista batted just .238/.269/.351 with three homers and 10 doubles. Defensive versatility with questionable offensive output has been the norm for Amarista throughout his career, however. In parts of seven big league seasons, he’s a career .231/.275/.323 hitter in 1901 plate appearances. He’ll likely draw interest from clubs looking to add veteran depth options that can compete for a bench spot next spring, but his struggles at the plate in one of the game’s premier offensive environments make it likely that Amarista will have to settle for a minor league deal this time around.