This doesn’t happen often; mutual options are usually attached to contracts for the buyout, which allows a team to give a player a bit more guaranteed money without having to actual make the payout anytime soon. They’re hardly ever exercised, because how often is it that a team and a player are going to completely agree on what said player is worth a year or two ahead of time?
But today, lo and behold, a mutual option was exercised by both sides and setup man Matt Belisle will stay with the Rockies for $4.25 million.
Had the Rockies declined their half, they would have paid Belisle a $250,000 buyout. Belisle’s option was tacked on to a two-year, $8.125 million deal the two sides agreed to in Feb. 2012.
The 33-year-old Belisle went 5-7 with a 4.32 ERA in 73 innings of relief last season. He’s made at least 70 relief appearances and pitched at least 70 innings in four straight seasons, amassing a nifty 3.52 ERA during that time frame. It should be noted that his ERAs have increased three straight years, but since his peripherals were better last season than in 2012, it doesn’t look like a total free fall. The Rockies aren’t bringing back injured ex-closer Rafael Betancourt and they have no other relievers making significant cash, so they felt they could spend the $4 million to keep their durable setup guy around.
The Cubs’ defense — or lack thereof this year — has been a topic of conversation as it could help explain why the team hasn’t played at the elite level it played at last year.
Manager Joe Maddon tried to go into detail about that but ended up channeling his inner Rex Ryan. Via CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney.
If, in the future, Joe Ross ever complains about a lack of run support, point to his first four starts of the 2017 season.
Ross started on April 19 in Atlanta against the Braves, on April 25 in Colorado against the Rockies, on April 30 at home against the Mets, and on May 23 at home against the Mariners. In those games, the Nats’ offense scored 14, 15, 23, and 10 runs respectively for a total of 62 runs, or an average of 15.5 per start. Ross was the pitcher of record for seven, eight, 10, and 10 runs for a total of 35 runs (8.75 runs per start), which would still make him the major league leader in run support by that restrictive standard.
Among qualified starters — Ross did not qualify — entering Tuesday’s action, the Rockies’ Antonio Senzatela led the way according to ESPN, averaging 7.11 runs of support in nine starts. The Rockies scored double-digit runs in only three of those starts, oddly enough.
Per the Nationals, the 62 runs of support for Ross is a major league record in a pitcher’s first four starts of a season.