With the trade deadline upon us, and the second half of the MLB season underway, our focus turns to players who will face contract option decisions in the next few months.
2023 Option Tracker | 2023 Free Agents
Ian Kennedy (RP, 37)
$4M Club Option ($250,000 buyout)
A leg injury puts the brakes on a potential deadline move, but there’s still a chance the Diamondbacks exercise Kennedy at a $4M clip for 2023 ($250,000 buyout otherwise). He’s a steady arm out of the pen, and should offer midseason trade value on an expiring contract.
Zach Davies (SP, 29)
$1.5M Mutual Option ($250,000 buyout)
Davies was operating a sub 4 ERA in 15 starts before a shoulder injury shelved him indefinitely. He’ll likely be the side to opt out of $1.5M next year in favor of a multi-year guarantee. Especially as he approaches 30 years of age.
Charlie Morton (SP, 38)
$20M club option (no buyout)
Morton hasn’t been able to recreate a stellar 2021 this season, giving up almost as many home runs at the midway point than he did all of last year. It seems likely that the Braves decline the $20M guarantee, especially with no buyout, and bring him back a little cheaper in more of an innings-eater role.
Will Smith (RP, 33)
$13M club option ($1M buyout)
Despite a 37 save 2021, Smith has been shaky in a combination closer/setup role this season. With the walks and runs way up, he’s no longer a sure bet reliable option in the backend of the pen. Atlanta will likely punt on the $13M salary in favor of a $1M buyout.
Jordan Lyles (SP, 31)
$11M club option ($1M buyout)
The ERA (4.77) and WHIP (1.4) certainly aren’t screaming reliable arm, but Lyles has been a must have innings eater for an Orioles team trying to surface for the first time in years. With that said, a raise to double his current salary ($5.5M) next season probably doesn’t make sense. He’s also a fringe trade candidate this deadline.
Boston Red Sox
Chris Sale (SP, 33)
2 year, $55M player option
Sale pitched 0 innings in 2020, 42 in 2021, and 5 this season before being struck by a ball that sent him back to the IL. In other words, he’s not opting out of a 2 year, $55M guarantee ahead of him, with a $20M vesting option possible in 2024. Barring a massive turnaround in 2023, this will go down as one of the more unfortunate blockbuster busts in MLB history.
Xander Bogaerts (SS, 29)
4 year, $80M player option
Bogaerts is opting out. Boston is too good this year to deal him prior to the deadline, so they’ll be dealing with 29 other teams to try and woo him back this winter. The good news? Trevor Story and Jeter Downs are already rostered for the foreseeable future. Bogaerts projects to a 6 year, $184M contract in our system.
James Paxton (SP, 33)
$13M club option / $4M player option
Paxton was signed knowing he wouldn’t take the mound until around the All-Star break (Tommy John). It’s looking like August now, putting the future of his contract in question. He’ll need to produce for a few months to get Boston even considering picking up the $13M option. If they don’t, Paxton will have the chance to play on a $4M salary with the Red Sox in 2023, or opt-out, hit free agency, and bet on himself with a whole new contract.
Hirokazu Sawamira (RP, 34)
$3M club option ($1M buyout)
The numbers this year look identical to what they were last year. Sawamira is a serviceable, reliable middle inning option. This should be an easy exercise for Boston.
Drew Smyly (SP, 33)
TBD Mutual Option ($1M buyout)
Smyly isn’t much more than an innings eater at this point, and while we don’t know the exact value of his mutual option, if it’s anywhere near the $5M mark, it’s probably going to be too rich for the Cubs’ in 2023. A deadline trade could change this.
Mychal Givens (RP, 32)
TBD Mutual Option
Givens has been good in a limited role this year, posting a career best ERA (2.87) at the time of this piece. Even if the Cubs opt-in, there’s a chance Givens takes himself to the open market for brighter skies.
Chicago White Sox
A.J. Pollock (OF, 34)
$10M player option ($5M buyout)
Pollock is on pace for 530 plate appearances, which will increase the option value to $13M. With injuries and inconsistent play now a part of his life, it’s tough to imagine him punting on this kind of 1 year salary, unless he’s assured a multi-year guarantee on the open market.
Tim Anderson (SS, 29)
$12.5M club option ($1M buyout)
The White Sox will exercise this as quickly as possible.
Josh Harrison (2B, 35)
$5.5M club option ($1.5M buyout)
Harrison is on pace for 475 plate appearances this season, which will increase the option value to $5.75M. He’s not much more than a platoon player at this stage, so a near $6M salary might be too rich to stick on.
Mike Minor (SP, 34)
$13M mutual option
This salary converted from a team option to a mutual one per the trade from KC. The Royals have also agreed to cover the $1M buyout attached to it. The 6.65 ERA & 1.6 WHIP tend to paint the picture of where this is going from the Reds’ standpoint.
Tommy Pham (OF, 34)
$6M mutual option ($1.5M buyout)
Pham’s on pace for 20 HRs, 70 RBIs, so he’s still a serviceable MLB starter. It stands to reason that he’ll take the $1.5M buyout, hit the open market, and try to find a multi-year guarantee.
Bryan Shaw (RP, 34)
$4M club option (no buyout)
This option will probably look more like $5M after Shaw’s appearance incentives kick in. Shaw posted a 3.49 ERA and nearly a strikeout per inning in 81 appearances last season, but those numbers are much worse thus far in 2022 (5.29 ERA, .82 K/IP). Cleveland probably punts on this salary.
Charlie Blackmon (OF, 36)
$10M player option
The option should increase to $18M based on plate appearances over the past few seasons, which should make it an absolute no-brainer for Blackmon to play on. He’s having a solid 2022 campaign - but not an $18M one.
Scott Oberg (RP, 32)
$8M club option
Elbow injuries have shelved Oberg for 3 seasons. There’s not a chance the Rockies exercise the $8M.
Andrew Chafin (RP, 32)
$6.5M player option
Chafin is a legit trade candidate heading into August which could change the landscape of his future on this contract. If he’s traded to a contender, sticking around there for another year might make sense. Otherwise, he’s certainly performed himself into a multi-year guarantee.
Justin Verlander (SP, 39)
$25M player option (conditional)
Verlander is 14 innings pitched away from vesting the $25M option for the 2023 season. He’s 13-3 with 117 strikeouts and a 1.86 ERA in 18 starts this year thus far. Will the then 40 year old future Hall of Famer opt out for a multi-year guarantee? There’s at least an argument to be made for it.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Justin Turner (3B, 37)
$16M club option ($2M buyout)
While the consistent power numbers are way down, Turner’s overall resume is starting to look like it does on an annual basis. He has 22 doubles through 85 games, on pace for a career high there by quite a bit, and the RBI numbers should be approaching 90 yet again. With that said, the Dodgers are going to have to reduce payroll at some point. $16M for 38 year old Turner might be a breaking point.
Max Muncy (1B, 31)
$13M club option ($1.5M buyout)
Muncy holds 9 HRs, 9 doubles, and a .159 batting average at the time of this piece. It’s tough to imagine the Dodgers handing him a raise next year.
Daniel Hudson (RP, 35)
$6.5M club option ($1M buyout)
A torn ACL injury cut Hudson’s season off at 25 appearances, but he was one of LA’s most reliable relievers at the time. The timetable for him to return probably doesn’t allow this option to be exercised, but his performance on the mound would have.
Danny Duffy (SP, 33)
$7M club option
He’s yet to throw a pitch for the Dodgers (hand injury), but is slated to make an August return to the mound. If he’s a factor down the stretch and into the postseason, there’s a world with $7M for a spot starter/middle reliever makes sense.
Hanser Alberto (2B, 29)
$2M club option ($250k buyout)
Alberto is a platoon infield utility player with a below average bat. These types of players are vital to contenders, but if LA thinks they can nickel and dime him back down near a minimum contract, they’ll decline this.
Jorge Soler (DH, 30)
$15M player option
Soler’s deal contains $12M in 2022, a $15M player option in 2023, and a $9M player option in 2024 (additional incentives available as well). His 2022 has been underwhelming, putting him in line to take on the $15M next year, with a chance to get himself into a better spot to opt-out, and seek out another multi-year guarantee.
Joey Wendle (3B, 32)
$6.3M club option ($75,000 buyout)
Wendle isn’t going to come close to recreating the All-Star season he posted in 2021 with the Rays, but he’s a consistent contact hitter with an OPS in the mid 700s. With that said, the Marlins almost always choose $75,000 over $6.3M.
Anthony Bass (RP, 34)
$3M club option
Bass is likely to be traded before you finish reading this sentence. With the Marlins sliding further backwards, Bass is posting over a strikeout an IP, along with a 1.51 ERA/.96 WHIP. He’s doing work in the 7th, 8th, and 9th innings this season and is a model template for what contenders are looking for down the stretch. Wherever he lands, a $3M option exercise probably also makes sense.
Kolten Wong (2B, 31)
$10M club option ($2M)
With production down in almost all regards, it’s tough to imagine Milwaukee locking in a $1.5M pay raise next season.
Brad Boxberger (RP, 34)
$3M club option ($750k buyout)
The walks and home runs allowed are up, but Boxberger has still been fairly consistent in 2022 for the Brewers. It’s still hard to see a $1.25M pay raise coming his way though.
Carlos Correa (SS, 27)
$35.1M player option
The Twins were probably hoping for a bit more at this point, but Correa is on pace to post Correa type numbers. With a $35.1M option decision this and next December, how will he approach one of Scott Boras’ more surprising recent contracts? An educated guess says he opts in for 2023, with a serious question mark for 2024.
Miguel Sano (3B, 29)
$14.25M club option ($2.75M buyout)
Sano rediscovered his power stroke in 2021, but was limited to just 17 games in 2022 before knee surgery sidelined him indefinitely. The Twins will opt-out of this contract.
Sonny Gray (SP, 32)
$12.5M club option
Gray has been efficient in 14 2022 starts thus far and is on pace to be a factor for the Twins into the postseason. There’s no reason to believe Minnesota won’t bring him back on a $12-$13M salary for 2023 (incentives could increase the value).
Dylan Bundy (SP, 29)
$11M club option ($1M buyout)
Bundy is playing out 2022 on a $4M salary, posting a mid 4 ERA, giving up way too many homers, but eating up a solid amount of innings for the Twins. If he’s asked to play that role next year, a jump up to $11M seems too high.
Chris Archer (SP, 33)
$10M mutual option ($750,000 buyout)
It’s been a struggle for Archer to stay healthy, but his 16 2022 starts have been his best in 5 seasons (3.41 ERA, 1.2 WHIP). If it continues the Twins may look to keep him at $10M, but will he opt-in on his end?
New York Mets
Jacob deGrom (SP, 34)
$30.5M player option deGrom’s return to the mound isn’t just about the Mets’ 2022 finish, but also very much about his immediate contract future. The 34-year-old can opt out of the remaining 2 years, $63M on the deal after this season, and (despite the injuries), it’s still widely believed that he’ll do just that.
Taijuan Walker (SP, 29) $6M player option ($3M buyout)
Walker’s tenure in NY has been excellent. Barring a worthy extension offer from the Mets, he’ll take the $3M buyout and hit the open market this winter.
Dan Vogelbach (DH, 29)
$1.5M club option ($200k buyout)
Acquired from the Pirates in July, he’s a platoon bat for the Mets’ 2022 stretch run and nothing more for now.
John Curtiss (RP, 29)
$775,000 club option ($70,000 buyout)
Curtiss was signed with the knowledge that he would miss the entire 2022 season (elbow), so it stands to reason that the Mets will exercise his 2023 salary to see what they can squeeze out of him.
New York Yankees
Anthony Rizzo (1B, 32)
$16M player option
There’s an outside chance that Rizzo finishes 2022 with 25 doubles, 40 homers, and 100 RBIs for the Yankees. He’s opting out.
Luis Severino (SP, 28)
$15M club option ($2.75M buyout)
After making just 7 starts in 3 years, Severino had posted 16 starts in 2022 before his shoulder started acting up. The strikeout rate and WHIP are where NYY wants him to be, but will he stay healthy enough to keep around? One more year probably makes sense.
Stephen Piscotty (OF, 31)
$15M club option ($1M buyout)
He’s missed 50 games with a calf injury, and is squarely on the trade block (as are most A’s), but it’ll take a hall of fame last 2 months for a team to consider him on a $15M salary next year.
Elvis Andrus (SS, 33)
$15M player option
He’s a shell of himself at age 33, but still a serviceable starting SS. It seems impossible that he won’t jump on one final $15M salary before he hits the open market.
Aaron Nola (SP, 29)
$16M club option ($4.25M buyout)
Nola has been fantastic this season, posting a low 3 ERA, 131 ERA+, and .9 WHIP heading into August. He’s a lock for the $16M salary in 2023. It’ll cost much more in 2024.
Jean Segura (2B, 32)
$17M club option ($1M buyout)
Following a solid 2021 campaign, a broken finger has kept Segura out of action for 2 months. Even if Philadelphia sees him in their future, taking the $1M buyout and starting over probably makes sense.
Zach Eflin (SP, 28)
$15M mutual option ($150,000 buyout)
Eflin had been a solid back end of the rotation arm for Philly this year before a knee injury popped up. He’s got a history with knee issues, so it’s concerning for his future with the organization. Philly likely declines their side of the $15M next year.
Felipe Vazquez (RP, 31)
$10M club option
He’s in jail.
San Diego Padres
Wil Myers (OF, 31)
$20M club option ($1M buyout)
A knee injury (that might require surgery) has all but vanquished Myers’ 2022 campaign. The Padres will punt on the option year and let him test the open market.
Eric Hosmer (1B, 32)
3 year, $39M player option
The only opt-out in Eric Hosmer’s contract comes after the 2022 season, and it seems impossible that he’’ll exercise it. It’s been a rough three years of Hosmer offensively speaking.
Robert Suarez (RP, 31)
$5M player option ($1M buyout)
Suarez was a viable mid to late inning option for San Diego through 22 appearances. But a knee injury has shelved him indefinitely. It seems likely he takes on the $5M salary.
Nick Martinez (SP, 31)
$6.5M player option ($1.5M buyout)
Martinez has an opt out after each of the next 3 seasons. He’s started 10 games, finished 5 out of the pen, and is being utilized as a 7th/8th inning arm as well. That kind of versatility can pay in the right system. He may look to cash in a little higher this offseason.
San Francisco Giants
Carlos Rodon (SP, 29)
$22.5M player option
Another All-Star season, another sub 3 ERA, 11.3 strikeouts per 9, and not yet 30 years old. There’s an opt-out and a bigtime multi-year guarantee coming from someone this offseason. Our system calls him a 4 year, $117M pitcher.
Evan Longoria (3B, 36)
$13M club option ($5M buyout)
Longoria’s been in steady decline since 2016, with injuries factoring into each of the past 3 seasons. The Giants won’t take on the $13M option, but a return in an inexpensive depth role shouldn’t be out of the question.
Ken Giles (RP, 31)
$9.5M club option ($500k buyout)
He’s pitched 4 innings in 2022 and isn’t slated to return again until early August. But the Mariners are turning a corner here quickly, and a $9.5M salary for a seasoned reliever isn’t crazy. This is a yes for now.
Chris Flexen (SP, 28)
$4M club option (conditional)
Flexen is 45 innings away from this converting to an $8M player option. He’s a .500 pitcher this year after a 14-6 2021, and the strikeout ratios are never going to wow anyone, but at 28, Flexen must think he can secure a $10M+ multi-year guarantee this offseason.
St. Louis Cardinals
Nolan Arenado (3B, 31)
5 year, $144M player option
At nearly $29M per year over the next 5 seasons, it seems unlikely that Arenado will opt out. The Rockies are paying quite a bit of this, so the Cardinals will continue to get strong value out of a player who annually posts 30 doubles, 30 homers, 100 RBIs and a near .300 average.
Tampa Bay Rays
Kevin Kiermaier (OF, 32)
$13M club option ($2.5M buyout)
Kiermaier missed 40 games in 2021, and is now done for the rest of 2022 with hip surgery. He’s been a Ray his whole career, but that likely changes in 2023.
Jose Leclerc (RP, 28) $6M club option ($750k buyout)
He’s battled injuries routinely since 2020, but posts lights out strikeout rates when active. Texas is entering “all-in” mode with many of their contracts. A $6M flier on reliever with 9th inning experience doesn’t seem crazy.
Kole Calhoun (OF, 34) $5.5M club option
After missing 100 games last year in Arizona, a healthy Calhoun is rounding back into form this year for Texas. It seems likely he plays himself into the $5.5M salary for 2023.
Garrett Richards (RP, 34)
$9M club option ($1M buyout)
He’s been a jack of all trades this season, making appearances in 28 games, finishing 9, and starting 2. Is $9M too much for a long reliever/spot starter? Probably.
Nelson Cruz (DH, 42)
$16M mutual option ($3M buyout)
Cruz is on the move this deadline, so this option will be someone else’s problem soon. He’s quietly on pace for 15 HRs and 75 RBIs. If he wants to continue playing (for the team he finishes 2022 with), it seems a no brainer for Cruz to opt-in to $16M. Will his team comply though?