Jay Bruce will be a Met next season as the club has decided to pick up the $13 million club option they have on him. Bruce hit .219/.294/.391 over about 190 plate appearances with the Mets, but overall the guy was is who he always is – a flawed run producer. Bruce hit 33 homers with 99 RBI in 2016, and that’s the fourth time in six seasons that Bruce has hit 30 homers with at least 97 RBI. That’s pretty good ain’t it? Last time I checked it was. Bruce has also produced 71 runs in seven consecutive seasons. The batting average is always an issue, he’s hit .248 for his career and hit .250 in 2016, a three year best. He doesn’t produce in batting average and doesn’t get on base as his .309 OBP from 2016 was a three year best. The power though, it’s legit.  

Meanwhile, the Mets picked up their option in Jose Reyes. It was the easiest of decisions for the Mets since they only have to pay him the league minimum (the rest of his contract, about $41 million the next three years, is being paid by the Rockies). Reyes won’t play second next season if Neil Walker is brought back, and if David Wright returns he won’t be playing third either. He might work on the outfield this offseason to prep for a utility role next season. The 33 year old Reyes stole only nine bases in 60 games with the Mets, the elite speed is gone, but he also hit eight homers and scored 45 runs with a.769 OPS. He’s a solid NL-only add in the least.

Meanwhile part two… the Mets declined the $10 million option on Jon Niese after he threw just 121 innings in 2016 because of ill health with a 5.50 ERA and 1.59 WHIP.

Did you catch our World Series, Game 7 breakdown?


Carlos Santana will be back in Cleveland next season after the Indians picked up their $12 million option. Easy call. The slugger hit a career best 34 homers with 87 RBI and 89 runs scored. He also struck out 99 times while walking 99 times leading to an impressive 1.00 BB/K ratio. He’s also had a good eye, and takes tons of walks, but he’s never been able to transition that into batting average help as he has a .247 career mark that he bettered slightly this season at .259. You know what you’re getting when you roster Santana, and of course his outlook improves in OBP leagues (.365 for his career and .366 in ’16).


Jonathan Lucroy will be a Ranger in 2017 as the club picked up his mere $5.25 million option. Rumors continue to float that the club is hoping to sign Lucroy to a big extension to keep him around for more than just a single season. Lucroy, a 30 year old righty, is coming off his best power season ever with 24 homers, a 15.8 HR/9 mark and a .208 Isolated Power mark – all career bests. It’s unlikely he will retain the homer pace, his HR/FB from 2014 (7.1) and 2015 (7.6) falls short of the rate he posted in 2016, but he’s still the owner of an impressive bat. Lucroy hit .292, the fourth time in five years that he’s hit at least .280, and he owns a .284 career mark. He did see his walk rate drop to a 3-year low while his K-rate was a 5-year high leading to a 0.47 BB/K ratio, a five year low. Lucroy is one of the best hitting catchers in baseball, period, and will be drafted as such next season.

Did you catch our World Series, Game 7 breakdown?


*These players are now free agents.

Ryan Hanigan had his $3.75 million deal turned down. The 36 year old catcher will receive an $800,000 buyout. Hanigan has hit just .250 for his career but he does own a .345 OBP. Alas, it’s been four years in a row that Ryan has failed to reached his career level. He’s of no interest at all in the fantasy game, no matter the format.

Ryan Howard was due $23 million. He will receive a $10 million buyout from the Phillies instead. Howard will be 37 in mid-November and last time he was a fantasy force was way back 2011. He can still pound the long ball though with 23, 23 and 25 homers the last three seasons. He’s likely to sign with an AL club to serve as a designated hitter who will face righties if you are asking this scribe.

Charlie Morton was due $9.5 million. He will receive a $1 million buyout from the Phillies instead. He could still be brought back at a reduced rate after making just four starts in 2016 as he eventually needed surgery for a torn hamstring. The 32 year old righty is a passable 5th starter when healthy.

Fernando Rodney had his $4.5 million option declined by the Marlins. After saving at least 37 games each year from 2012-14, Rodney has saved a total of 41 games the past two seasons. He was basically the same guy as always in ’16 with a 3.44 ERA, 1.39 WHIP, 10.19 K/9 and oh those walks… 5.10 per nine. His days of closing are likely over, except for getting an in-season call when the top 9th inning arm is down. 

Here's a link to my review of pitcher's that have had their contract options picked up.