Sunday’s MLB: Orioles pick up $3.5 million option on Jose Iglesias

Detroit News

Associated Press
 |  Associated Press

Baltimore – The Baltimore Orioles have picked up the $3.5 million club contract option on shortstop José Iglesias, who provided a boost to the team last season despite a series of injuries.

Iglesias batted .373 with three homers and 24 RBIs in 39 games in 2019, his first season with the Orioles. The 30-year-old also provided defensive stability in the middle of the infield.

Baltimore faced a $500,000 buyout if it did not exercise the option of extending his contract through 2020.

Iglesias missed time last season with a sore left quadriceps and a bruised left wrist after being hit by a pitch in a September game against Tampa Bay.

Iglesias was signed as a free agent last January after spending one season in Cincinnati. He has also played for Boston and Detroit.

He has a .278 career batting average over nine seasons.

Stanton staying put

Giancarlo Stanton is keeping the remaining $218 million and seven guaranteed years in his New York Yankees contract rather than opt out after a pair of injury-decimated seasons.

The slugging designated hitter, who turns 31 on Nov. 8, hit .266 with 38 homers and 100 RBIs in his first season with the Yankees in 2018. He batted .288 with three homers and 13 RBIs in 2019, when he was limited to 18 games by a left biceps strain that sidelined him from April 1 to June 18 and a right knee strain that kept him out from June 26 to Sept. 18.

He hit .250 with four homers and 11 RBIs in the pandemic-shortened 2020 season, limited to 23 games by a strained left hamstring that sidelined him from Aug. 9 to Sept. 15. He rebounded to become the Yankees’ best offensive player in the playoffs, hitting .308 (8 for 26) with six homers and 13 RBIs in seven games.

A four-time All-Star with Miami, Stanton agreed to a $325 million, 13-year contract with the Marlins in November 2014. He hit .281 in 2017 and led the major leagues with 59 homers and 132 RBIs, then was traded to the Yankees in December 2017 for second baseman Starlin Castro, right-hander Jorge Guzmán and minor league infielder Jose Devers.

Stanton is due $29 million in each of the next two seasons, $32 million annually from 2023-25, $29 million in 2026 and $25 million in 2027. The deal includes a $25 million club option for 2028 with a $10 million buyout.

As part of terms of the trade, because Stanton did not opt out, the Marlins will send the Yankees $30 million to offset part of what remains in his contract: $5 million each on July 1 and Oct. 1 in 2026, 2027 and 2028.

Red Sox moves

Red Sox designated hitter and former Tiger J.D. Martinez kept his contract that will pay $19,375,000 in each of the next two seasons rather than opt out and become a free agent.

The 33-year-old hit a career-low .213 in the pandemic-shortened season with seven homers and 27 RBIs, his lowest output since 2013. His salary was cut from $23.75 million to a prorated $8,796,296.

His contract also gives him the ability to opt out after the 2021 World Series.

Boston declined a $6.85 million option on left-hander Martín Pérez and opted to pay a $500,000 buyout to the 29-year-old, who became a free agent. Perez was 3-5 with a 4.50 ERA in 12 starts, striking out 46 and walking 28 in 62 innings in his first season with Boston after leaving Minnesota as a free agent. He had a $6 million salary, reduced to $2,222,222 in prorated pay.

Around the horn

Reliever Dellin Betances exercised his $6 million player option for next season with the New York Mets, deciding against taking a $3 million buyout and becoming a free agent.Mets reliever Brad Brach exercised his $2,075,000 player option for next season and the club also made an $18.9 million qualifying offer to right-hander Marcus Stroman, who became a free agent.

… Right-hander Merrill Kelly’s $4.25 million option was exercised by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

… The San Diego Padres declined a $3 million option on first baseman/DH Mitch Moreland, who receives a $500,000 buyout and becomes a free agent.

… The Pittsburgh Pirates designated reliever Nick Burdi just weeks after the hard-throwing right-hander underwent Tommy John on his right elbow for the second time.

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