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.
Derek Jeter, part-owner of the Marlins, met with Miami-Dade County mayor Carlos Gimenez on Tuesday afternoon at Marlins Park, Douglas Hanks of the Miami Herald reports. They discussed potentially removing the home run sculpture from the ballpark, something that has been on Jeter’s to-do list since he took over.
Gimenez said of the sculpture, “I just don’t think they’re all that crazy about it. I’m not a fan. We’re looking at it. … We’ll see if anything can be done.”
According to Hanks, the sculpture is public property because it was purchased as part of the Art in Public Places program, which requires art to be installed for the public in county-owned buildings. Michael Spring, the cultural chief for Miami-Dade who was present with Jeter and Gimenez on Tuesday, had previously said that the sculpture was “not moveable” and was “permanently installed” because it was designed “specifically” for Marlins Park. On Tuesday, Spring said, “Anything is possible. But it is pretty complicated. And I wanted the mayor and the Marlins to understand how complicated it really was. We got a good look at it today, and they saw how big it was. There’s hydraulics, there’s plumbing, there’s electricity.”
With Jeter having traded Giancarlo Stanton, Marcell Ozuna, and Dee Gordon this offseason, the home run sculpture is arguably one of the last remaining interesting things about the Marlins in 2018. Naturally, he wants to get rid of it.