The Rays face an interesting dilemma the day after the World Series ends: What to do with Aki Iwamura’s $4.25 million option. While the amount is cheap for what Aki brings to the table, the Rays can find cheaper options in-house. And the Rays are a club where every million counts.
The Rays appear to have two options with Aki’s option (see what we did there!)
- Decline the option and move forward with some combination of Ben Zobrist, Sean Rodriguez and Reid Brignac at second base.
- Pick up the option and try to trade Aki for a bullpen arm and/or prospects.
The downside to the second option is: a) Another team will know the Rays would be desperate to trade Aki, and if there isn’t a big market, they can hold out for next-to-nothing; b) What happens if the Rays cannot trade Aki? All of the sudden they are on the hook for $4.25 million with a player that might not have a position in 2010.
Of course, knowing the Rays, they will only pick up Aki’s option if they already have some assurance from another club that a trade is doable. The benefit to the other club is that the $4.25 million option is probably less than they would have to pay for Iwamura on the open market.
DEVIL DOGS WEBTOPIA…
- Chris Richard was removed from the 40-man roster. He has the option of choosing free agency over a demotion to Durham.
- Carl Crawford won the Fielding Bible Award for being the top defensive left fielder. Of course, being named the best defensive left fielder is kinda like being named the best-looking Pug. There is a reason Gold Glove awards don’t differentiate among outfield positions. [The Heater]
- Among several other items from Marc Topkin, we learn that Gabe Kapler “fits several needs” for the Rays even if he is just a 5th outfielder and Dave Martinez talked to the Indians about their managerial position. [St. Pete Times]
- Dock of the Rays discusses Aki Iwamura’s option. [Dock of the Rays]
- According to one metric, Matt Joyce was the 4th best defensive right fielder in the minors this past season. [The Hardball Times]