Marc Carig of the Newark Star Ledger reports that the Yankees have declined their 2011 options on Lance Berkman, Kerry Wood, and Nick Johnson, all of which were expected moves.
Berkman’s contract included a $15 million team option or $2 million buyout for 2011, but as part of his accepting a trade to the Yankees it was changed to a mutual option. New York made it a moot point by declining their end after he hit just .255/.358/.349 in 37 games after the trade.
Wood’s deal contained an $11 million option for 2011, but with no buyout required that was a no-brainer to decline.
Johnson had a $5.25 million mutual option for 2011, which is actually slightly less than he earned this season, but the Yankees chose a $250,000 buyout after the oft-injured first baseman missed nearly the entire season following wrist surgery.
The White Sox won’t make a bid for free agent outfielder Bryce Harper, Bruce Levine of 670 The Score reports. Believed to be the favorites to land shortstop Manny Machado in free agency, the White Sox watched him ink a 10-year, $300 million contract with the Padres. The club is apparently content with its roster otherwise.
Harper would certainly be an upgrade in the outfield, which currently features Adam Engel, Nicky Delmonico, and Jon Jay. It will soon feature prospects Eloy Jiménez and Luis Robert.
Last season, Harper hit .249/.393/.496 with 34 hom eruns, 100 RBI, 103 runs scored, and 13 stolen bases in 695 plate appearances. He led all of baseball, drawing 130 walks. Harper is also a six-time All-Star who won the 2012 NL Rookie of the Year Award and the 2015 NL Most Valuable Player Award.
The Phillies are still believed to be the favorites to sign Harper and the club is confident it will land him, Matt Breen of the Philadelphia Daily News reports.