The Rays are expected to receive a fourth option year on left-hander/first baseman Brendan McKay, reports Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times. If that indeed proves to be the case, Tampa Bay would be able to option McKay to the minor leagues through the end of next season.
Most players can be optioned for three seasons. After a team exhausts those option years, they have to keep a player on the active roster or remove him from the 40-man roster entirely (thereby allowing other clubs an opportunity to trade for or claim that player off waivers). However, for players who have accrued fewer than five full professional seasons — defined as years with at least ninety days on a major league or minor league active roster — teams may be granted a fourth option year.
Fourth options most often come into play for players who have missed a significant amount of time in their careers on account of injuries. McKay is no exception, as he has barely pitched at any level over the past two seasons. After missing all of 2020 and the first half of this season recovering from shoulder surgery, the southpaw suffered a flexor strain in August that ended his 2021 campaign after just seven minor league outings.
More from the American League:
- The 2021 season was a disappointment for Angels star Anthony Rendon, who was held to 249 plate appearances by three separate injuries. His season came to a close in early August, when he underwent surgery to repair a right hip impingement. Fortunately, it doesn’t seem that injury is expected to carry over into next season, as Rendon told Grant Paulsen and Kevin Frandsen of MLB Network Radio on SiriusXM (Twitter link) this afternoon that he intends to be ready for Spring Training. “That’s the gameplan,” Rendon said. “That was what kind of pushed us to get the surgery done sooner than later. We were dealing with it for the entire year, trying to figure out what was going on and figure out the best way to approach it. … Once we knew where we stood in the standings and whatnot, we needed to knock it out so I could have an entire offseason to be able to get ready for Spring Training. That’s the goal.” The ongoing issues with his hip could certainly offer an explanation for Rendon’s downturn in production. The typically-excellent hitter posted a slightly below-average .240/.329/.382 line, the worst showing of his career at the plate.
- For the first time in a decade, the Mariners will enter an offseason with some uncertainty at the hot corner. With the club set to buy out longtime third baseman Kyle Seager, Seattle could look to address the position outside the organization. Corey Brock of the Athletic explores the various possibilities, ranging from internal options like Ty France and Abraham Toro to a big-ticket free agent pursuit. Mariners president of baseball operations Jerry Dipoto has spoken a few times about the team’s ability and desire to make some meaningful upgrades to the roster on the free agent market. Dipoto voiced a specific preference for “adaptable” players who have shown an ability to move around the diamond. Kris Bryant and Chris Taylor — each of whom Brock suggests as a speculative possibility for the M’s to target this winter — both have demonstrated the capacity to bounce between multiple positions, including third base.