Tuesday, October 30, 2012
The off-season is officially underway for all 30 teams around the majors, and on Monday, we saw the first signs of player movement, as teams have until Wednesday night to decide whether or not to exercise options on player contracts.
In Oakland, the A's decided to decline the $10 million option on shortstop Stephen Drew, really no surprise there, although today we learned the team still has hopes in retaining Drew, for much less than the $10 million per season.
Drew did receive a buyout of $1.35 million for the club, but going from the highest paid player on the D'Backs one year ($7.75 million) to a player the A's hope will sign in the $5 million range per season is not likely.
He decided to take his time returning to the majors at the beginning of the 2012 season after rehabbing from a terrible ankle injury. Arizona's management wasn't to fond of this timetable he and his agent set to return to the field in hopes of cashing in during free agency. His agent, Scott Boras, did indicate at one time that Drew would the best hitting free agent shortstop this off-season.
This season, Drew hit .223 in 79 games for the Athletics and D'Backs, his lowest average of his career.
In Toronto, the Blue Jays have a couple decisions to make on outfielder Rajai Davis and reliever Darren Oliver. Both players have options for the 2013 season, and the team has yet to decide what direction to take with both.
Oliver has been rumoured to be thinking about retirement. I was surprised the team didn't trade Oliver at the deadline, or in August for that matter after such a suburb first half, posting outstanding numbers for a 42 year-old reliever. His 2.06 ERA was his lowest total in his career, making his $3 million option a no-brainer for the club you would think. Again though, the stumbling block is the decision he needs to make regarding retirement.
With Davis, the club holds a $3 million option for a player that may end up being the club's fourth outfielder again next season. Davis filled in nicely this year with all the injuries, hitting a career high eight home runs in 142 games. His game is speed, something the Jays want to keep - 46 stolen bases in 2012 - but going forward, the club may see the contract as too expensive for the role he will play.
You would have to think if the club wanted to keep him, they would of exercised the option by now. Yesterday, we learned that if the club decides to buyout his contract for $500,000, his projected salary in arbitration would be around $3.9 million. Oddly enough, maybe the Davis camp is hoping for just that.