The Pittsburgh Pirates had until 11:59 p.m. Wednesday night to decide whether to exercise their options on a pair of current contracts.
Both decisions should be no-brainers.
The first involved catcher Rod Barajas and his $3.5 million option, which the club obviously declined after Barajas posted a line of .206 AVG/.283 OBP/.625 OPS. The Bucs were expecting some production from Barajas and there’s no way getting around the fact that he had a terrible season.
The 37-year old hit only 11 homers and drove in only 31 runs and managed to throw out only 6 percent of opposing base stealers.
Barajas has indicated that he would like to return for less money, but there isn’t much chance of that happening either, although that is still an option.
The other option is a $700,000 option on the original contract of third baseman Pedro Alvarez, which was naturally picked up.
Alvarez is coming off his most productive season in a Pirates’ uniform posting a line of .244/.317/.784 with 30 homers and 85 RBI.
In addition, the Bucs released left-handed reliever Hisanori Takahashi, who they claimed off waivers at the trade deadline from the Los Angeles Angels.
Takahashi put up an 8.64 ERA in only 8.1 innings as a Pirate.