The Tigers have a lot of sorting out to do with their bullpen. The simplest part, Joakim Soria’s contract option for 2015, is now out of the way. The team decided to pick up Soria’s $7 million option, thus keeping Soria off the free-agent market and in its bullpen mix.
The Tigers announced that they have extended one-year, $15.3MM qualifying offer to impending free agents Max Scherzer and Victor Martinez. Additionally, the team announced that utility man Don Kelly and right-hander Evan Reed have been outrighted off the 40-man roster. The Tigers also announced that they have selected the contract of outfielder Wynton Bernard, adding him to the 40-man roster.
Cleveland exercised its $3.5 million team option to keep Mike Aviles on the roster for the 2015 season, providing the Tribe with an experienced player capable of handling multiple infield and outfield positions.
The Brewers have announced the decision to decline their $11.5MM club option on Rickie Weeks, making him a free agent. Additionally, the team officially announced that it will exercise Yovani Gallardo‘s option as MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes reported yesterday. Weeks, 32, was the No. 2 overall selection of the 2003 draft by the Brewers. He’s spent his entire career with Milwaukee. He emerged as one of baseball’s best second basemen from 2007-11, hitting .255/.357/.448 with an average of 18 homers, 13 steals, 2.5 rWAR and 3.1 fWAR per season in that stretch. However, his production has declined steadily since that time, as he’s batted .233/.327/.398 since that time and eventually fell into the short end of a platoon role with the left-handed hitting Scooter Gennett. Weeks inked a four-year, $38.5MM contract extension prior to the 2011 season
San Diego prospect Mallex Smith, who swiped 88 bases in A ball this year, scored the go-ahead run in Surprise’s 5-4 victory Thursday night. It was the ninth game using the 20-second pitch clock — a pace-of-game initiative being tested at the Arizona Fall League — and it was timed at 2:28.
The Orioles have exercised their 2015 club options on pitchers Wei-Yin Chen and Darren O’Day, and they declined the options of right fielder Nick Markakis and catcher Nick Hundley.
The Angels retained a big piece of their bullpen Thursday, picking up their $7 million option on closer Huston Street.
The Brewers have officially exercised their $13MM club option on right-hander Yovani Gallardo, reports MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes (on Twitter). Gallardo, 29 in February, has spent his entire career with the Brewers after being selected in the second round of the 2004 draft. In 2014 he totaled 192 1/3 innings of 3.51 ERA ball with 6.8 K/9 and 2.5 BB/9. Though he no longer averages a strikeout per inning as he did from 2009-12 (perhaps, in part, due to slightly diminished fastball velocity), the option was still a relatively easy call for the Brewers. Gallardo’s option contained a $600K buyout, essentially making this a $12.4MM decision for the Brewers. In parts of eight Major League seasons with Milwaukee, Gallardo has a 3.69 ERA with 8.6 K/9, 3.3 BB/9 and a 46.3 percent ground-ball rate. He signed a five-year, $30.1MM contract prior to the 2010 season, and by virtue of this option being exercised, will see that guarantee rise to $43.1MM over a six-year term
The Cubs have declined a $5.5MM club option over righty Kyuji Fujikawa, Mark Gonzales of the Chicago Tribune tweets. Fujikawa will take home a $500K buyout as he hits the open market. The 34-year-old struggled with injury issues and was never the pitcher the Cubs hoped when they signed him out of Japan. Across the last two years, he owns a 5.04 ERA over just 25 innings. He does have an impressive 11.2 K/9 against 2.9 BB/9 in that stretch, but he was rather homer prone this year. While it will be hard to commit much to Fujikawa given his age and recent Tommy John procedure, that strikeout tally is hard to ignore. And he had a long run of durable success in the NPB before the Cubs brought him to the majors
The Arizona Fall League announced Wednesday six players have been added to the rosters for Saturday’s Fall Stars Game, including Scottsdale first baseman Greg Bird, the circuit’s home run leader and Yankees’ No. 11 prospect, and Peoria shortstop Raul Mondesi, the Royals’ top prospect.