Cardinals decline options on Rafael Furcal and Octavio Dotel

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The Cardinals have declined the 2012 options for Rafael Furcal and Octavio Dotel, according to the Associated Press.

Furcal’s option was worth $12 million, so it was a no-brainer to pay the $1.3 million buyout. The 34-year-old shortstop batted .231/.298/.348 with eight homers, 28 RBI and nine stolen bases over 369 plate appearances this season between the Cardinals and Dodgers. He really struggled offensively during the postseason and was even dropped in the batting order during the World Series, but the Cardinals have expressed interest in bringing him back in 2012.

As for Dotel, he will receive a $750,000 buyout rather than $3.5 million next season. The 37-year-old right-hander posted a 3.50 ERA and 62/17 K/BB ratio over 54 innings between the Cardinals and Blue Jays during the regular season and a 2.61 ERA and 14/2 K/BB ratio over 10 1/3 innings during the postseason. He qualifies as a Type A free agent.

Anibal Sanchez accepts optional assignment to Triple-A

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The Tigers announced on Monday that pitcher Anibal Sanchez has accepted an optional assignment to Triple-A Toledo. Pitcher Warwick Saupold was recalled from Toledo to take Sanchez’s roster spot.

Sanchez, 33, continued to struggle this season pitching out of the bullpen. He gave up 26 runs (21 earned) on 34 hits and nine walks with 22 strikeouts in 21 innings. Nine of those 34 hits were home runs. Sanchez finished the 2015 season with a 4.99 ERA and last season with a 5.87 ERA, so he’s had a rough go of it in recent years.

The decision to go to Triple-A was Sanchez’s, Anthony Fenech of the Free Press reports. Sanchez wants to be stretched out as a starting pitcher again.

Braves release James Loney

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Just a few days after inking him to a minor league deal, the Braves have released first baseman James Loney, the team announced on Monday. Loney became expendable when the Braves acquired Matt Adams from the Cardinals on Saturday as a replacement for the injured Freddie Freeman.

Loney, 33, appeared in two games at Triple-A Gwinnett. He had one hit, a single, and one walk in eight plate appearances.

Loney will likely have to wait for another team to deal with an injured first baseman or DH before he can secure another contract.