Previewing Upcoming Opt-Out Decisions And Player Options – MLB Trade Rumors

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With the offseason approaching, so is the time for players and teams to decide upon any 2023 options in their contracts. MLBTR has taken a look through various option decisions in recent weeks: first with players whose deals contain vesting provisions, then a respective look at the team options in both the American and National Leagues.
Today, we’ll turn our attention to the players’ side. A number of players could hit free agency this winter either by triggering an opt-out clause in their current deal or bypassing a player option for the 2023 campaign. We’ll take a run through those decisions, many of which will have implications at the very top of the free agent market.
Note: All stats referenced are through play Sunday
Elite Potential Free Agents
Arenado was already on a Hall of Fame trajectory before 2022, but he’s bolstering his case with the best season of his career. Through 500 plate appearances, he owns a .306/.370/.567 line with 27 home runs. He’s had seasons with that kind of slash line in years past, but they came with the caveat that he’d played half his games at Coors Field. That’s no longer a factor, and it’s easily his best offensive output once one adjusts for the ballpark. Arenado’s 162 wRC+ is the fourth-best mark among qualified hitters.
That kind of offensive production alone would get him in the MVP discussion, but Arenado’s obviously valuable for far more than his bat. One of the best defensive third basemen in MLB history, he’s continued to post elite marks with the glove even as he’s entered his 30s. Arenado is among the top handful of players in the game. While walking away from $144MM wouldn’t be an easy decision, it’d seem the prudent one from a strict financial perspective. Freddie Freeman received six years and $162MM from the Dodgers (albeit with deferrals that reduced the net present value closer to the $148MM range) headed into his age-32 season. Freeman was coming off a 135 wRC+ platform showing, and he plays a less valuable position. Arenado and his camp could make a strong argument the Freeman contract should represent his floor, and it’s not outlandish to seek a six-year deal at the $35MM annual range Anthony Rendon received from the Angels (which would bring the guarantee to $210MM).
On paper, Arenado’s opt-out decision looks like a slam dunk. There’s at least some amount of uncertainty, though, as he forewent an opt-out opportunity last offseason and told Derrick Goold of the Post-Dispatch it was “always the plan” to remain in St. Louis long term. Passing on free agency coming off a .255/.312/.494 showing in 2021 is a lot easier than doing so after a career-best year that should make him an MVP finalist. Maybe he’s comfortable enough with the Cardinals he’ll return, but he’d probably be leaving a lot of money on the table to do so. At the very least, he looks to have a case for a renegotiation of his contract with the Cards, which is slated to pay him just $15MM in the final season (2027).
Regarded by many (MLBTR included) as the top free agent in last winter’s class, Correa reportedly turned down at least one ten-year offer early in the offseason in search of a guarantee that rivaled the $341MM Francisco Lindor had received from the Mets last April. That proposal seemingly never came, and Correa reversed course in Spring Training. He signed a shocking three-year deal with the Twins that guaranteed him the largest annual salary ($35.1MM) for a free agent position player and afforded the opportunity to retest the market in either of the next two offseasons via opt-out.
Conventional wisdom was that Correa was sure to trigger his first opt-out and make another run at a long-term deal in a winter unaffected by a lockout. That still seems likely, although he hasn’t resoundingly made the case for teams to be more willing to approach the Lindor range that they had been. He’s having a similar offensive season as he did during his final year with the Astros. After posting a .279/.366/.485 showing his last year in Houston, Correa is hitting .276/.355/.439 over 440 plate appearances with Minnesota. His raw power production is down, but that’s not quite as alarming when considering the leaguewide slugging percentage has dropped from .411 to .395. Perhaps of greater concern is that the elite defensive marks that garnered Correa a Gold Glove last season are unanimously down, ranging anywhere from below-average (-2 Outs Above Average) to solid (+4 Defensive Runs Saved, +1 Ultimate Zone Rating).
There’s no question Correa’s an excellent player having a very good season. Yet he’s not likely to wind up a top five finisher in MVP balloting as he did in 2021. He’d top a $200MM guarantee on the open market, but he’s unlikely to reach the kind of money he anticipated last offseason. Could he return to Minnesota (where he’s by all accounts very happy) for one more year and look to trigger his post-2023 opt-out after hopefully putting up MVP-caliber numbers? That feels unlikely, but he’s already bet on himself once and would only be entering his age-29 season if he put off opting out for a year.
Bogaerts has been the Red Sox’s everyday shortstop since 2014, but his time in Boston could be nearing its end. He and the club didn’t make progress in extension talks this spring, and he’s a lock to opt out and top $60MM on the open market barring a catastrophic injury. One of the game’s top offensive shortstops, Bogaerts is amidst another strong season. He carries a .303/.372/.448 line through 508 plate appearances. His slugging output is below where it was from 2018-21, but he consistently gets on base and has a strong pre-2022 track record from a power perspective.
One can quibble about certain aspects of Boagerts’ profile. In addition to this year’s slugging dip, he’s traditionally rated as a below-average defender. Even with generally solid defensive metrics this season, clubs will probably have some question whether he’ll eventually need to move to second or third base. Those are nitpicks for whether Bogaerts would be a worthwhile investment in the $180MM – $200MM range, though. A 30-year-old shortstop with an elite durability track record and a .299/.370/.478 line since the start of 2020, he’s certainly going to shatter $60MM even if the market takes a relatively pessimistic view of his long-term projection.
There’s no suspense with this one, as deGrom has publicly maintained his plan to opt out for months. That’s in spite of elbow/shoulder injuries that kept him from throwing a major league pitch between July 2021 and this August. With only one guaranteed year remaining on his deal (plus a 2024 club option that’d go into effect if he doesn’t opt out this winter), that’s been a pretty easy call. To the extent there may have been any lingering doubts, deGrom has silenced them with his first five starts since returning from the injured list. He’s looked like his vintage self, averaging 99.3 MPH on his fastball while posting a laughable 46:2 strikeout-to-walk ratio through 29 1/3 innings. On an inning-for-inning basis, he’s the best starting pitcher on the planet.
deGrom’s free agent case will be fascinating. Even if he finishes the season healthy, he’ll have gone three consecutive years without topping 15 starts or 100 innings (although he’s obviously not at fault for the shortened 2020 schedule). What kind of volume a signing team can expect is an open question, particularly as he enters his age-35 season. Yet the upside of a healthy deGrom is through the roof. He’ll receive a multi-year deal that beats the $33.5MM remaining on his current contract. Can he top teammate Max Scherzer’s $43.333MM AAV over a three or even four-year term? Time will tell.
While we’re on the topic of upper-echelon starting pitchers who are basically certain to opt out, let’s turn to Verlander. The future Hall of Famer triggered a $25MM option for next season by throwing 130 innings, but that’s largely a moot point. Verlander told Ken Rosenthal of the Athletic last week he was likely to opt out if things went as planned down the stretch. It’d have been surprising if he were even considering exercising the option.
Verlander has returned from 2020 Tommy John surgery to lead the major leagues with a 1.84 ERA. He’s striking out 26.5% of opponents and has a strong argument for a third career Cy Young award. He’s also a proven playoff performer and a prototypical ace who eats about as many innings as anyone else in the game. Even heading into his age-40 season, Verlander can try to beat the Scherzer AAV on a multi-year contract.
Verlander did injure his calf in his most recent start, resulting in a placement on the injured list just this afternoon. The Astros announced that an MRI of his calf revealed “fascial disruption, but no muscle fiber disruption” — an extremely specific diagnosis but one that both Verlander and GM James Click touted as good news. Click expressed hope the injury will be short-term, and Verlander suggested that had he sustained damage to the muscle fibers themselves, he’d likely have missed the remainder of the regular season and perhaps part of the postseason.
The manner to which Verlander rebounds will obviously be key in his opt-out scenario, but if he misses only a couple weeks’ time and returns strong for his final regular-season and postseason starts, this opt-out is an easy call.
We’ll wrap up the trifecta with Rodón, who’s also going to have an easy decision, barring injury. While there was some trepidation about Rodón’s breakout 2021 season — both due to his inconsistent track record before last season and some shoulder soreness and a velocity drop last August — he’s doubled down and looks to have cemented himself among the game’s top ten starters. Rodón has avoided the injured list thus far, and he’s striking out 32.1% of opponents while posting a 2.81 ERA through 25 starts. By topping 110 innings, he earned the right to opt out after this season.
Heading into his age-30 campaign, he should land the nine-figure deal that eluded him last offseason. Between his youth and last two years of production, Rodón has an argument for the largest guarantee of any free agent starter. He won’t get paid at the deGrom or Verlander level on an annual basis, but he could push for six years and look to top $150MM.
Quality Regulars Likely To Opt Out
Rizzo’s market last offseason seemed a bit underwhelming. The veteran first baseman was coming off two fine but unspectacular seasons, and it looked as if his best days might be behind him with his mid-30s approaching. Rizzo still made plenty of contact and hit the ball hard, but he’d gotten quite pull-oriented and had rough ball-in-play results against an increasing number of defensive shifts. He signed a two-year deal with the Yankees that paid him matching $16MM salaries and allowed him to opt out after this season.
That now looks like an easy call, as Rizzo has bounced back with a year more reminiscent of his peak days with the Cubs. He carries a .223/.337/.480 line and is going to top 30 homers for the first time since 2017. He’s still getting dismal results on balls in play and doesn’t have a particularly impressive batting average, but even that looks as if might turn around next year. It’s widely expected MLB will institute limits on shifting next spring. Few players would stand to benefit more than Rizzo, who’s facing a shift on a whopping 83.5% of his plate appearances according to Statcast. His age and lack of defensive versatility will limit the length of any deal, but he’ll probably beat the $16MM salary over at least a two-year term, even if the Yankees tag him with a qualifying offer.
The Padres’ signing Profar to a three-year, $21MM deal that allowed him multiple opt-out chances was one of the more eyebrow-raising moves of the 2020-21 offseason. The switch-hitter was coming off a solid 2020 campaign, but that shortened schedule was the first in which he’d posted above-average production. It looked like a misstep when he struggled last year and unsurprisingly forewent his first opt-out clause, but Profar has rewarded the organization’s faith with a career-best showing in 2022.
Through 530 plate appearances, he’s hitting .241/.339/.387 with 12 homers. He’s walking at a robust 12.3% clip while only going down on strikes 15.1% of the time. He looks like a solid regular, and headed into his age-30 season, Profar’s a candidate for another multi-year deal this time around. After major throwing issues as an infielder early in his career, he’s played exclusively left field this year. Profar isn’t a prototypical corner outfield masher, but his plate discipline and bat-to-ball skills should allow him to top the guaranteed money remaining on his current deal.
Starting Pitchers With High Buyouts
Walker signed a $20MM guarantee with the Mets over the 2020-21 offseason. The deal was front-loaded but came with a $6MM player option or a $3MM buyout for 2023. Adding a player option allowed the Mets to soften the contract’s luxury tax hit. Because player options are treated as guaranteed money, it technically qualified as a three-year, $20MM deal with a $6.67MM average annual value for CBT purposes. Yet the $3MM gap between the option value and the buyout meant Walker was a virtual lock to opt out, barring injury that made him unable to pitch next season. The Associated Press reports the option has various escalators that could push its value as high as $8.5MM if Walker throws 175 innings this year, but even that figure is modest enough he’s going to decline.
Walker should opt out in search of a multi-year deal, as he’s been a valuable mid-rotation arm for New York. Over 117 1/3 frames, he owns a 3.38 ERA despite a modest 18.3% strikeout rate. His blend of plus control and solid ground-ball rates makes him a candidate for a three-year pact as he heads into his age-30 season. The Mets will have an interesting decision on whether to tag him with a qualifying offer.
Like Walker, Odorizzi signed late in the 2020-21 offseason on a deal that locked in the first two seasons and gave the player a third-year option. Odorizzi’s contract with the Astros was similarly structured to facilitate a third-year buyout while diminishing the AAV for luxury tax purposes, although he’s deciding on a bit more money. The option was initially valued at $6.5MM with a $3.25MM buyout, but the Associated Press provided a breakdown of various escalators. The option value would jump by $2MM apiece if Odorizzi reached 20, 25 and 30 appearances between 2021-22 in which he either started the game or worked four-plus innings of relief. The buyout value would spike by $1MM apiece for hitting each of those thresholds.
Odorizzi has already made 41 such appearances over the past two years, so he’s long since maxed out both thresholds. He’ll therefore be deciding between a $12.5MM option to return to the Braves or taking a $6.25MM buyout and heading to free agency. With only a $6.25MM difference between the option value and the buyout, Odorizzi looks like a borderline opt-out case. He owns a 3.90 ERA across 85 1/3 innings this season, although his 18.3% strikeout rate is a few points below league average. He’ll be 33 by next Opening Day, and he didn’t find as robust interest as most expected he would during his last trip through free agency. He’s a quality strike-thrower and a perfectly fine back-of-the-rotation starter, but it’s now been three years since he’s missed bats at an above-average rate, and he was traded this summer in a one-for-one swap for an underperforming reliever (Will Smith).
Easy Calls To Return
Sale has the right to pass on the final two years of his extension with the Red Sox this winter, but he certainly won’t do so. He’s made just 11 starts over the past three seasons due to various injuries, including a 2020 Tommy John surgery and a trio of fractures (rib, finger and wrist) this year. Sale has still flashed mid-rotation or better upside in the limited time he’s been on the field, but there’s too much uncertainty with his health to land anywhere near $55MM were he to test the market.
Hosmer’s opt-in decision is a no-brainer. Since signing a $144MM contract with the Padres heading into 2018, he’s posted a league average .264/.325/.409 slash line. Paired with his lack of defensive versatility and mixed reviews on his glovework (public metrics have never been as fond of Hosmer as his four Gold Gloves would suggest), he’d probably be limited to one-year offers were he a free agent. The Padres will remain on the hook for virtually all of the money, as they agreed to pay down Hosmer’s deal to the league minimum salary to facilitate his trade to the Red Sox.
Soler parlayed a big second half and huge batted ball metrics into a three-year deal with Miami last offseason. His massive raw power hasn’t translated into especially strong results since he’s become a Marlin, however. He’s been a below-average hitter, and it’s now been three years since he was a middle-of-the-order caliber player over a full season. Paired with a limited defensive profile that keeps him in the corner outfield or at designated hitter, he’s been right around replacement level this season. He’s not opting out this year, but a big showing in 2023 could allow him to reconsider the possibility next winter.
The White Sox acquired Pollock just before the start of the season, sending Craig Kimbrel to the Dodgers in a surprising one-for-one swap. The hope was that they’d addressed a notable hole in the corner outfield, but Pollock’s production has cratered in Chicago. Just a season removed from a .297/.355/.536 showing in L.A., he’s stumbled to a .237/.284/.363 line through 401 plate appearances with the ChiSox. Even with a fairly modest $6MM gap between the option’s present value and the buyout, Pollock is likely to bypass a trip to free agency after a replacement-level platform season.
The present $11MM option value isn’t fixed, as Pollock’s contract contains escalators that could boost it a bit further. Originally set at $10MM, he’d lock in an extra $1MM for hitting each of 400, 450, 500, 550 and 600 plate appearances this season. He’s already surpassed 400 trips, and the 450 mark is well within range with 34 games remaining. Consistent playing time down the stretch would allow him to reach 500 plate appearances as well, although it’s hard to envision him getting to 550. The most likely outcome is that the option price ends up at $12MM, but anywhere between $11-13MM is viable.
Schoop signed a two-year, $15MM extension amidst a productive 2021 season in Detroit. While a defensible enough decision for the Tigers at the time, that hasn’t panned out. The veteran second baseman has a .235 on-base percentage that’s easily the worst in the majors among players with 400+ plate appearances. He’s posted otherworldly defensive marks this season and could well collect a Gold Glove, but the complete lack of production at the dish should make him a lock to exercise his option.
Blackmon exercised a 2022 option last season, and he went on the record at the time as saying he’d trigger the 2023 provision as well. There’s no intrigue as to his decision — he’ll be back in Colorado next year — the only question is how much he’ll make. The ’23 option came with a $10MM base value, but ESPN reported it’d escalate by $500K apiece if Blackmon reached 400, 425, 450, 475, 500, and 525 plate appearances in 2022. It’d jump another $1MM apiece at 550 and 575 trips.
The veteran outfielder enters play Tuesday with 490 plate appearances, so he’s already pushed the value to $12MM. Barring injury, he’s a lock to hit at least the 525 PA mark, and he’s quite likely to get all the way to 575. Colorado has 33 games remaining, and Blackmon is only 85 plate appearances (2.76 per game) from maxing out the plate appearance threshold at $15MM. The deal also contained escalators based on MVP finishes which Blackmon will not hit.
Relievers
Martinez signed a four-year, $25.5MM guarantee with San Diego this past winter. That deal contained opt-out chances after each of the first three seasons for the former NPB hurler, but it seems unlikely Martinez will take his first opportunity to return to the open market. He has a strong 3.02 ERA over 92 1/3 innings during his return season in the big leagues, but he’s worked as a swingman for a San Diego team that has quite a bit of rotation depth. Martinez has excelled as a reliever, pitching to a 1.35 ERA while holding opponents to a .208/.258/.295 line in 40 innings. That’s come with a modest 21.5% strikeout rate, though, and he doesn’t brandish the power arsenal teams tend to prioritize late in games.
Entering his age-32 season, Martinez probably wouldn’t find a better deal that the opt-out laden three years and $18MM (after factoring in the buyout price) he’d be bypassing to return to the open market. The Friars have to be happy with their investment considering his excellence out of the bullpen, but the surprisingly strong deal they gave him in the first place makes it hard to see him doing much better elsewhere even on the heels of a quality first season.
Detroit signed the ever-reliable Chafin late last offseason, and they’ve been rewarded with another excellent year. Through 43 1/3 innings, he’s posted a 2.91 ERA while striking out more than 30% of opponents with an excellent 52.3% ground-ball rate. The market probably undervalued Chafin last winter; it’d be hard to do so again after another very good season. In a vacuum, declining the option and topping $6.5MM in free agency seems likely.
That said, the Tigers decision to not trade Chafin at this summer’s deadline was tied to a belief he could stick around. Evan Petzold of the Detroit Free-Press reported shortly before the deadline that Detroit’s proximity to Chafin’s Ohio home could lead him to return in 2023 if he weren’t moved before August 2. That led to a disconnect in his trade value, with the Tigers confident they still possessed a year and a half of his services while other clubs viewed him as an impending free agent. From a strict financial perspective, opting out is the prudent call. Yet the family considerations Petzold noted would make the decision more complicated if Chafin’s priority isn’t simply to maximize his earnings.
San Diego added Suárez, who’d never previously pitched in the majors, on the heels of an excellent career closing in Japan. He had a nightmare outing on Opening Day where he dished out free passes to all three batters he faced, but he’s been quite effective since that point. Excluding his first appearance, Suárez owns a 2.36 ERA with a strong 29% strikeout rate in 34 1/3 innings. He’s still had spotty control, but he’s averaging north of 97 MPH on his fastball. He’d only need to beat $4MM on the open market, and something around that rate over a multi-year term feels attainable heading into his age-32 season. A rough final couple months could change the calculus, but Suárez seems likely to retest free agency at the moment.
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Balk

Giants need almost all of these guys to compete with the Doyers! Ha!
Fever Pitch Guy

Balk – Never forget, the 2013 Red Sox beat Scherzer/Verlander in all 3 games they pitched, and that was when the pitchers were both in their prime.
Sad that the Red Sox being good is now just a distant memory.
Dorothy_Mantooth

Speaking of the Red Sox, I thought Chris Sale had an opt out in his contract for this season too? He’s obviously not going to walk away from the remainder of his deal but Sale is a unique guy. I could see him negotiate an extra year with Boston at a significantly reduced rate to ‘pay them back’ for his lack of production/availability over the last 2+seasons. He’s really upset about his inability to pitch and how it has impacted the team. I wouldn’t put it past him to do something like this; the only question is whether or not Boston would want to risk another year on him even at a highly reduced rate.
Anthony Franco

Yeah I completely forgot about Sale’s opt-out. Agree there’s no way he exercises it but he should’ve been on here. Thanks for the heads up, nice catch!
ohyeadam

I’m surprised more teams don’t throw in the Jon Lackey clause where if they spend a year on the IL an extra 1 yr/$1,000,000 was tacked on to the deal
acell10

I would be completely shocked if he negotiated any kind of extension with Red Sox and I certainly doubt Sale would take a discount as way to “pay them back”. He doesn’t strike me as that guy at all. Nor do I think the red sox should bother. He was injury prone even before signing his extension and his attitude was always questionable. No need for the sox to triple down on that mistake.
Mets698622

They won the division last year with far less talent.
Balk

Agree, injures are why 162 game season is so tough. One year could be great, next year could be at the top of division. Let’s hope the Giants get a star studded youngster to build around next year, or a couple! Ha
JayHeck2158

Carlos Correa will end up regretting turning down the 10yr $275M contract the Tigers offered him last winter. Believe he overvalued himself and he’s not going to make that up over the next 10 years. Probably good for the Tigers as that contract would not have aged well anyway.
Lee Mazzilli for HOF

I agree. Most big teams with that cash are set at short. Actually Conforto has me curious since he turned down multiple years also.
TrumboJumbo

I feel like Correa has a big chip on his shoulder. He himself called out Lindor’s contract and I think after the scandal that his school of thought was “They are gonna low ball me because of this and I am gonna stick to my guns and get paid what I think I deserve.” What about Springer? I would say he took a “pay cut” because of past transgressions. Not an ungrateful peep out of him about it either.
BaseballisLife

A 31 year old with a history of injuries getting $150 million is a pay cut? Not at all.
TrumboJumbo

Can’t deny the injury history but these days I think it is a mere afterthought to the front offices. Find me a player who has lost a big pay day due to sporadic injuries.
BaseballisLife

Consistent injuries in Springers case. At least 20 games lost per season from 2017-2019.
TrumboJumbo

Understood. I figure though it is truly a nominal amount. He is still one of the highest paid men in big league history.
Mets698622

Most mlb players sit out at least 20 games a season. 20 games isn’t much of a worry.
Pads Fans

Its 12% of a season. Its a huge worry if it happens every season.
Mets698622

How many players play 140+ a season? Not many.
tad2b13

I disagree.. The subpar, for him, defensive numbers are probably an outlier. So when you have a young, good defender, playing a premier position, that can give you something close to 30% above league average with the bat, he should be able to top the 10/$275M.
He won’t approach Lindor’s numbers, but he should be able to get a $30M AAV for 10 years. And if he supplies even 80% of what he’s doing now in the 8th year of a 10 year deal, when he’s 36, no team will regret that contract.
TrumboJumbo

The last thing I would be worrier about is his defense. Like you said, almost certainly an outlier.
Mets698622

I disagree. He is making 3/105 now. He only needs a 7/170 to top that and avoid playing for a horrible team. He will be only 30 at free agency.
BaseballisLife

7 WAR player during his career and only 27 years old. He is going to get paid handsomely. Far in excess of the $27.5 mm AAV he turned down.
thelegendaryharambe

You’re Pads Fans
Allinws4

Correa>Baez
LordD99

He won’t regret it as he’s still going to make a ton of money and he will get to pick another team.
TrumboJumbo

Best of both worlds…
mlb1225

Would’ve rather had Correa for 10 years than Baez for 6 years. Correa walks a fair amount with an above average K%. Baez has always been below average in that deparment. Once Baez’s athleticism and bat speed slow down, then what? You have a guy who has to hit .280+ to be worthwhile who is slowing down. At least when Correa slows down, you can move him to third base or second base and get a bat that doesn’t decline as rapidly.
YankeesBleacherCreature

You get Elvis Andrus.
Dogbone

Steve Stone was singing praises when the Chisox picked up Andrus. You’d have thought it made his ‘boys’ the AL favorites.
Cosmo2

Baez is way overrated
keysox

Always has been. It’s a home run or nothing
Mickey777

I think the Yankees will offer Rizzo a small raise and add a year to the contract. Like last off season this arrangement works well for both sides. We’ll see!
TrumboJumbo

Never followed Rizzo close but I have seen him get very streaky hot at times and come up clutch more than a few times. Feel like he has much more to give.
Dogbone

In all due respect to Rizzo, if he were playing his home games in Wrigley this year, I think he’d have been around the 25 homer mark at seasons end. Cubs could surely use those 25 homers from a LH bat – but I am hoping too, that he stays with the Yankees and does well. Hopefully Matt Mervis gives the Cubs solid production from the left side of the plate for the next 8 years or so. Beginning in 2023.
Darth Nihilus

Rizzo is perfect for the Yankees. Left-handed power and a nice defense first baseman. They haven’t had a true first baseman in a long time. Yes, his average is down but he always seems to give a good at bat.
I’m not sure what other 1B will be available but if he wants to come back I’d add on one more year for him.
Mets698622

That’s good for everyone else if that happens. He is not worth any where near that number because he hit some homers in the beginning of the season. Judge has a good chance to be gone and he will flounder worse then he is without Judge.
BaseballisLife

That would be a smart move for the Yankees.
HalosHeavenJJ

Agreed. I think he’s better in that ballpark than he’d be anywhere else. Both sides know that and will make it work.
LordD99

Rizzo looks to be one of the main beneficiaries if they restrict shifts beginning in 2023, particularly if they don’t allow infielders to stand in the OF.
Michael Drake

I disagree and think that he wont opt out!
C Yards Jeff

@Michael Drake; : yes, agreed. 2x this season Rizzo with a back issue. I don’t see any GM willing to take on a 33 year old with that. He stays in the Bronx and I’m thinking Cashman will not extend deal because of age/back. I’m not a Yankees fan and don’t follow intently but I do know you’re one of the oldest teams in MLB. And that’s why you’re scuffling now. Cashman knows he needs to get the team younger for near term future success.
stevewpants

Profar decision is a tough call. If I were him I’d want to opt out after a good season but I’d think most GMs will be wary of a big deal for him because it if goes sour everybody thinks you’re the dumbest GM ever for making the deal with a guy who has had more bad seasons than good.
BaseballisLife

He has what, 1 year for $8.33 million left on his deal? Even if he didn’t get an increase in his AAV, someone will give him 3/21 coming off a 3+ WAR season. That is a much larger guarantee than just the one year. I may be wrong about his current contract though,
tad2b13

Yeah, I agree. I don’t quite understand Profar’s opt-out. There’s a $10M mutual option for 2023 with a $1M buyout. What’s the difference between opting out, and declining his part of the option?
If he opts out, I think that takes SD off the hook for the $1M buyout. But, as you say, even with a lower AAV, a few more years, at $7M-$8M a year, is definitely more attractive. than 1/$10M.
Gwynning

Hey tad! The mutual option for $10m is for ’24. He is locked in at $8.33m for ’23 unless he opts out. My gut says he will opt-out after this season to secure the bigger guarantee, as opposed to opting out post ’23. (Odds on ’24 being mutually triggered is slim to none.)
tad2b13

Yeah, you’re right. No wonder I didn’t understand the opt-out/option. Thanks. And I agree he’ll probably opt-out, it’s his chance to add on a few guaranteed years.
tad2b13

Funny how some thought that Arenado was simply a product of Coors’ Field.
outhaus33

They said the same for Matt Holliday
Seamaholic

Yep. Say this for the Cards. They long ago figured out that hitting for the Rockies actually depresses your overall numbers (because it’s so hard to adjust when you go on the road).
LordD99

Posted similar below.
Mets698622

That’s because they let some random person use a hidden algorithm to adjust stats for ballparks.
Mets698622

What destinations are realistic for Bogaerts? Most of the teams that give big contracts have shortstops.
tad2b13

Bogaerts is not a good defender. Teams looking to upgrade 2B should be looking at him. His bat is very good, so he would be an upgrade there for a lot of teams. I’d be unhappy if my team signed him to play SS.
Gwynning

Possible (probable?) Bogaerts suitors-
Cubbies
Red Sox
Giants
Longshots-
Rox or Snakes
Orioles?
Braves (Dansby situation withstanding)
Seamaholic

Dodgers obviously if they pass on Trea.
PutPeteRoseInTheHall

If they just decide to “pass” on Trea without even trying I will be absolutely shocked
tad2b13

Yeah. I think the only way Turner isn’t a Dodger next year is if some other team significantly overpays, or he has some other geographical preference.
Seamaholic

I can totally see it. Grab Dansby or Bogaerts for a LOT less, use the saved money somewhere else. The Dodgers don’t actually do the max out highest paid in the sport type contract very often, and they already have one in Mookie. They love depth.
vtadave

Trea may pass on the Dodgers, but the Dodgers won’t pass on Trea.
thelegendaryharambe

@tad2b13 What other possible reasons are there for leaving?
BaseballisLife

Bogaerts will be a 2B or 3B. What teams need one next season? He is going to get 6/180-200. What teams can afford that?
Gwynning

Every team can afford that before we dissect their CBT allowances. I would say some teams would wish to move Xander’s position but some may wish to see him at SS. He’d be great as a 3B in Baltimore and show the ropes to SS Gunnar… but ATL, COL and ARI would probably recruit him as a SS.
Seamaholic

CO and AZ both have stud shortstop prospects on the way. And both have very good major league 2B. They wont be interested.
Gwynning

I included the Rox and D-Backs because I think they want some sort of infield vet presence going forward with their respective youngsters. I could be waaaay off… and LA if Trea walks, of course they’d be in the mix. I think the Dodgers go hard after Trea, though. His market is “limited” because his offers will be maximized.
Pads Fans

I don’t think that a prospect “on the way” will keep any team from signing a proven top FA.
Michael Drake

Boston.. he’s not opting out
AverageCommenter

I think he opts out and accepts a Correa like contract with the Phillies
ohyeadam

IDK, he’s not as young as Correa so he can’t wait for his big payday. He needs to sign at what he’s worth now for as long as possible. He’s already not considered a SS by many
Seamaholic

Sorry dude. I’ve been following Nolan for a long time. Nolan cares about … Nolan. And before he was in love with St Louis he was in love with Denver … when he wasn’t in love with L.A. and NYC, where he said he’d like to play in a moment of weakness when he forgot the script. Never believe what any player says when it comes to staying in the city he’s in and there’s more money elsewhere. Nolan’s very far from an exception.
thelegendaryharambe

@Seamaholic Exactly! People always say “player x loves city y” and then he signs elsewhere for like $1m more than that team is offering. If Nolan and his agent think he can beat his remaining contract he’s opting opt. I guarantee it.
atmospherechanger

Seam, Nolan’s priorities may change a bit with a new child. Those of us who’ve been blessed to have children know all about it.
thelegendaryharambe

Yeah. More money to pay for things for that child.
thelegendaryharambe

Screenshotted, bookmarked, memed.
jonsteele

A few weeks back on a local Saint Louis radio show on 590 the Fan, Derrick Goold said that Arenado doesn’t have any plans to opt out but isn’t announcing that until after the season. Something to do with that’s what the MBLPA wants the players to do? I’m not sure the reasoning behind that but I’d be kinda surprised if Arenado opted out. What might end up happening is some sort of contract amendment for some extra bonuses, adding a player option year, or easy escalators.
Gwynning

I see it the same way, and virtually identical to what Manny will do after ’23 opt-out to stay in SD.
tad2b13

Unless I’m missing something (probably), Arenado, and his wanting to stay in StL., is unique. I would be shocked if Manny has production next season anywhere close to this one, and does not opt out.
All he needs to make it worth opting out is an offer better than 5/$160M. It seems likely to me that he can easily get that, even if it’s from the Padres.
thelegendaryharambe

It’s not unique. It’s lip service.
Michael Drake

Yep Nado in STL for the next five years making millions of dollars, new baby too
Gwynning

I hope you’re right about Nick Martinez… I think he’s going to parlay his nice ’22 into a larger payday (but probably stays in SD!)
CNichols

I’m also wishing that this article is right about Martinez, but I’m worried. It would be huge for the Padres rotation if they can keep him considering Clevinger and Manaea are FA.
This article is listing him as a RP which technically true because he’s currently closing, but he’s started 10 games this year and is in the rotation on most teams. Might be undervaluing him based on the “reliever” label.
thelegendaryharambe

Whatever you want the player to do with his opt-out clause is always the opposite of what he will actually do. Unless of course that player plays for a team you dislike and you want them to get screwed over.
LordD99

Wasn’t the collective wisdom down here in the comments section that Nolan Arenado couldn’t hit outside of Coors? Perhaps one day fans will understand the real Coors effect, and it’s not shown in home-road splits.
Seamaholic

Rockies fans understand it. It’s negative not positive.
themed

That was mostly from sore loser jealous cub fans that said he couldn’t hit outside of Coors.
brodie-bruce

@lord i actually heard matt holiday talk about that on espn radio here in stl (he is on every fri afternoon) and he was explaining the coors effect. he basically said when you go out on the road it takes time to adjust to the ball, and by the time you make the adjustment your back home, also i think jim edmonds said something similar during a broadcast. to me it makes perfect sense the environment has a big effect on the ball.
PutPeteRoseInTheHall

I feel like the Giants need to give Rodon whatever he wants
Seamaholic

I hope they do. He’s made out of porcelain.
jimthegoat

Arenado’s OPS+ is a record high because OPS+ penalizes you for playing in Coors Field. Arguably overpenalizes.
Mets698622

That’s why the stat is over rated. We are letting random people we know nothing about put biased algorithms in for the outcome they want.
JoeBrady

No, the stat is good. You have to keep in mind that only one park plays like Mile High. The rest of the parks can be adjusted up and down. IMHO, when you assess how Mile High plays for hitters, you have to look at the pitchers. Hitters have an undefined period of time to adjust on the road. The pitchers probably don’t have much of an adjustment to make.
bcjd

That’s a nice batch of pitchers. Rondon to Boston at $150k would make me smile.
tad2b13

Who’s Rondon?
JoeBrady

Those are nitpicks for whether Bogaerts would be a worthwhile investment in the $180MM – $200MM range
==================================
Moving Bogaerts from SS to 2nd or 3rd is hardly a nitpick. It is not only a material downgrade for defensive value, but it also increases the risk of under-performance. Everyone assumes a flawless transition, but sometimes, players just can’t handle the move.
tad2b13

Joe,
I agree wholeheartedly with the first part of your post. 2B, or 3B has a lot less value. But disagree somewhat about the risk of underperformance. Of course it depends on the individual, but generally, if a guy can handle SS, he should have no problem with the other IF positions. In fact, I would expect Bogaerts to perform better at 2B much like Semien did when he got moved off SS.
JoeBrady

Theoretically, yes. But you have to keep in mind that when we signed Hanley, I was one of the guys that said “He’s a former SS. He has to be able to handle LF in Fenway Park”.
tad2b13

Moving a SS to the OF is a little different, and I can see where that would be a risk. But I was speaking to the more logical position switch like 2B, or 3B. Any SS that can play the position at a reasonable level, would probably be better at 2B, or 3B, than he was at SS.
msqboxer

CWS blew that Kimbrel/Pollack trade and should have kept that Hendriks, Kimbrel and Graveman rotation. TLR has burned through that bullpen and it will cost the Sox $20M vs. just $16M in the long run….I expect a major shakeup in that organization as they convince TLR to retire vs. firing him.
Dogbone

Chisox payroll is likely going to remain pretty high. Even with ‘only’ having a year more of Grandal and Giolito and Lynn – their so called ‘long term extended players’, are going to get quite pricey over the next few years. Most are not worth the money and will be difficult to trade.
Cohn Joppolella

I feel Odorizzi will exercise his option but you never know, he may be after a multi-year deal even if it’s lower AAV.
Pads Fans

Most players are after more guaranteed money even if the AAV is the same or even slightly lower.
DiehardFriarsFanFromThe619

We need to hold onto Nick Martinez. As the closer in training due to a struggling Josh Hader, and his success as a new closer (including last night’s win over the Giants), we will need Martinez in the 9th inning when the Friars are deep in the playoffs over the next three seasons.
Brew’88

He only gave up two-thirds of a 3 run lead last night, I guess that’s an improvement by Padre standards these days…
Pads Fans

After giving up 3 runs the night before. I know that the runs went on the ERA of Suarez because put them on base, but Martinez gave up the hits that drove in those runs. 5 Hits and 2 earned runs in 2 IP by Martinez is not good. He is not a closer.
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