AJ Pollock declines $13M option with White Sox, goes free

Kamil Krzaczynski-USA TODAY Sports
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LAS VEGAS — Outfielder AJ Pollock declined his $13 million player option with the Chicago White Sox and was among 10 players who became free agents, raising the total to 161.

In the final season of what turned out to be a $50 million, four-year contract, the 34-year-old hit .245 with 14 homers and 56 RBIs. Pollock signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers as a free agent in January 2019 and was traded after the lockout for closer Craig Kimbrel.

World Series champion Houston declined a $10 million option on first baseman Trey Mancini in favor of a $250,000 buyout and declined a $13 million option on reliever Will Smith in favor of a $1 million buyout.

The Los Angeles Dodgers declined options on left-hander Danny Duffy ($8 million), third baseman Hanser Alberto ($2 million) and right-hander Jimmy Nelson ($1.1 million). Alberto gets a $250,000 buyout.

Left-hander Drew Smyly turned down his $10 million player option with the Chicago Cubs and gets a $1 million buyout.

Cincinnati declined a $13 million mutual option on left-hander Mike Minor, who gets a $1 million buyout, and Arizona declined a $4 million mutual option on right-hander Ian Kennedy, who gets a $250,000 buyout.

Texas declined a $5.5 million option on outfielder Kole Calhoun.

In addition, Baltimore turned down an $11 million option on right-hander Jordan Lyles, who gets a $1 million buyout.

Up to roughly 20 more players can become free agents on Thursday, when teams will announce decisions on which free agents to extend $19.65 million qualifying offers.

A free agent can be made a qualifying offer only if he has been with the same team continuously since opening day and has never received a qualifying offer before. A player has until Nov. 20 to accept.

Brian Cashman signs 4-year contract to remain Yankees GM

Lucas Peltier-USA TODAY Sports
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SAN DIEGO — Brian Cashman has signed a four-year contract to remain the New York Yankees Senior Vice President and General Manager. The announcement was made during the first day of baseball’s Winter Meetings.

Cashman, New York’s GM since 1998, had been working on a handshake agreement since early November, when his five-year contract expired.

The Yankees were swept by four games in the AL Championship Series and haven’t reached the World Series since winning in 2009. It is the franchise’s longest title drought since an 18-year gap between 1978-96.

Cashman’s main goal during the offseason is trying to re-sign AL MVP Aaron Judge.

Judge hit an American League-record 62 homers this season with a .311 batting average and 131 RBIs. He turned down the Yankees’ offer on the eve of opening day of a seven-year contract that would have paid $213.5 million from 2023-29.

While Judge remains on the market, Cashman was able to re-sign Anthony Rizzo on Nov. 15 to a two-year contract worth $40 million after turning down a $16 million player option.

Cashman has been the Yankees general manager since 1998. He has been with the organization since 1986, when he was a 19-year old intern in the scouting department. In his 25 seasons as GM, the Yankees have reached the postseason 21 times, including four World Series championships and six American League titles.