How was your Week

Posted: November 2, 2019 by Sports Time Radio in baseball, sports, Sports Time Radio, Uncategorized

Now that the baseball season is over I was afraid that I was going to have to sit through all of the pundits sitting around a desk talking about which players where going to opt out of their deals and hit the free agent market. Well then luckily I found out that players with opt out clauses in their contracts have to make a decision on if they’ll opt out or not by tis Monday November 4th. I figured we’d beat everyone out the punch and go through the players with opt out clauses and see what we think they going to do.

The hot name right now who has an opt out clause is Stephen Strasburg of the Washington Nationals. Strasburg just had his best regular season going 18-6 in 33 starts and pitching 209 innings. He followed that up by going 5-0 in the post season including going 2-0 in the World Series and being named MVP. Strasburg has four years left on his deal with the Nationals and it’s for $100 million dollars, but at 31 years old and being a client of Scott Boras you have to think that he’s going to opt out and become a free agent.

Before the post season all of the opt out talk seemed to be about J.D. Martinez of the Boston Red Sox. Martinez has three years left on his deal with the Red Sox at $62.5 million dollars. He’s scheduled to make $23.75 million dollars this season, but then his salary drops to $19.35 million dollars for the final two years of his deal. Martinez is 32 years old and is another Scott Boras client. I’m not sure that if Martinez opt out he’ll get a better deal than what he has right now, but Boras likes to take his players into free agency; so I’d expect Martinez to exercise his opt out clause.

New York Yankees closer Aroldis Chapman can opt out of his deal that has two years left at $30 million dollars. Chapman will turn 32 years old before next season and his numbers did improve in 2019. Now he has already said that if the Yankees don’t offer him a contract extension he’ll opt out of his deal and enter free agency. Once he opts out the question becomes; what’s a 32 year old closer worth? Chapman has been one of the best closers in the game since the Cincinnati Reds moved him into the bullpen in 2012. You do have to wonder how long he’ll be able to remain a top closer. I’d expect Chapman to opt out and go into free agency.

The other big time closer who could’ve opted out of his deal was Kenley Jansen of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Jansen had a bit of a down year in 2019, but he’s still a top closer and those aren’t easy to find. Luckily for the Dodgers Jansen announced that he won’t be opting out of his deal. By staying with the Dodgers Jansen will make $38 million dollars over the final two years of his contract. He’ll make $18 million dollars next season and then $20 million dollars in 2021.

The Chicago Cubs signed Yu Darvish to a 6 year $126 million dollar deal in the off season before the 2018 season. Unfortunately for the Cubs and Darvish he has had two rough seasons for them. With four years and $81 million dollars left on his deal Darvish could’ve opted out. Instead Darvish has decided to stay with the Cubs and not opt out. Now the Cubs will have to hope he can bounce back.

Another Cubs player who can opt out is outfielder Jason Heyward. He signed an 8 year $184 million dollar deal with the Cubs before the 2016 season and has been a bit of an enigma since joining the Cubs. Heyward has four years and $96 million dollars left on his deal and I doubt that he would get anywhere close to that kind of an offer if he chooses to opt out; so I expect him to stay with the Cubs.

Well that looks like all of our opt out candidates. I’m guessing that will see three of these players opt out and two stay with their team. We already know what Jansen is doing; so I’m not counting him in this.

What do you think? Which players do you see opting out and which do you see staying with there teams?

Teams will also have to make some other important decisions by  Monday November 4th. Teams will have to decide if they want to extend the qualifying offer to any of their free agent players. This year the qualifying offer is $17.8 million dollars.

The other decisions the teams will have to make by Monday will be to either pick up an option on a player or buy him out.

A couple of examples from the now world champion Nationals. Ryan Zimmerman has an $18 million dollar option with the team for next season or they can buy him out and allow him to become a free agent for $2 million dollars. Adam Eaton has a option with the Nationals for $9.5 million dollars for next season or the club can buy him out for $1.5 million dollars and allow him to become a free agent. The Nationals also have to make a decision on catcher Yan Gomes. He has an option for $9 million dollars for next season or the club can buy him out for $1 million dollars and he’d become a free agent.

Just about every team has a player or players with option that they’ll have to decide if they’re going to pick up or not. These decisions will make a big impact on the free agent market as to who’s available.

Now some of these decisions have already been made by teams. The Cleveland Indians bought out long time 2nd baseman Jason Kipnis for $2.5 million dollars instead of paying him $16.5 million dollars for next season. The New York Yankees also decided to buy out 1st baseman/DH Edwin Encarnacion for $5 million dollars instead of paying him $20 million for next season.

Now even though these players where bought out by their current teams there’s no rule that says they can’t resign with them for less money. I’m not sure if that’s what will happen with Kipnis and Encarnacion, but that will be the case with some of the players that get bought out.

As the MLB off season gets going will have more and more to talk about; so we’re just getting started.

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Don’t forget to follow me on Twitter @Burketime



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