No surprises on Reds options
The Reds picked up the $11 million club option for 2011 on RHP Bronson Arroyo and the $1.75 million option on OF Jonny Gomes Wednesday. Not picked up were the $4 million option on SS Orlando Cabrera ($1M buyout) and the $12.75 million option on RHP Aaron Harang ($2M buyout). Both Cabrera and Harang become free agents.
None of these moves come as a shocker. Arroyo has been one of the Reds’ most consistent pitchers since he joined the club in 2006. He won a career high 17 games this season and has 200 innings pitched in six-straight seasons.
Gomes drove in a career-best 86 RBIs while batting .266 with 18 homers.
I have a call into the voice mail of GM Walt Jocketty. I expect he will still pursue Cabrera at a lower price, which he indicated he’d do when asked last month. There’s no word yet on progress towards a contract extension on Arroyo.
As for Harang,who was 18-38 in the last three seasons after he was 32-17 over 2006-07, this is the expected end of the line of his long tenure in Cincinnati. He certainly seemed to see this coming as he was emotional following a final start on the last day of the season.
UPDATE – I just got off the phone with Jocketty about the different decisions. Here are some of the quotes:
“We’ll certainly continue to work on doing a multi-year extension with him. I don’t want to go into the season negotiating. We’ll try to [get it done] before the start of the season.”
***I got a text back from Arroyo, who said he was “definitely” optimistic an extension could still get done with the Reds.
“It was a tough decision. We’re trying to protect ourselves with payroll and all the arbitration guys we have and the things we need to do. We’re not ruling out the possibility of bringing him back but it will be a while before we know.”
Jocketty said that Paul Janish stands to be the regular shortstop at this point, but obviously that would depend partially on what becomes of Cabrera.
***I talked to Jonny Gomes, who is at his home in Arizona. He was very pleased to know he would be returning to the Reds
“This saves my forehead,” Gomes said. “Last off-season, I banged it into every wall of my house being confused.”
Gomes was referring to being non-tendered and unemployed all of last winter until he signed the day the full squad reported to Spring Training.
“I have six years in [the Majors] but last year was my first time with 500 at-bats,” Gomes said. “Hopefully, I get another opportunity to do back-to-back years. It’s looking like it. Every year has been a battle with nothing guaranteed. I’ve always had a camp invite or a split contract. I’ve had pretty good numbers and success without a job guaranteed. I will battle for a spot at Spring Training and keep putting the pedal to the metal.”
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