The Rays announced today that they have declined the $6 million option on Luke Scott’s contract, making him a free agent. In addition, they also announced that they have picked up the options on James Shields, Jose Molina, and Fernando Rodney, as expected.
Declining the option on Scott is surprising on some levels. Scott was one of the Rays’ most productive hitters when he was healthy last season. And if the Rays we willing to give him $6 million last year ($5 million salary + $1 million buyout on the option), then why would they not think he was worth $6 million this season under similar circumstances (questions over his health)?
On top of that, one could make an argument that Scott would be even more valuable in 2013 as he plays three positions (DH,1B,OF) the Rays will need to fill this offseason.
And if the goal is to simply to bring Scott back at a cheaper salary, it seems like a bit of a risk to save what will likely only be $1-2 million.
The other possibility is that the Rays just don’t want Scott in the mix next season. If that is true, they a) think the injury situation is worse this time; b) are admitting they made a mistake last winter; or c) both.
Either way, there is a good chance we have seen the last of Wolverine in a Rays uniform.