MLBTradeRumors.com calls attention to the reason for the timing of the Mariners’ decision to cut loose Scott Baker: Article XX(B).
This is the second year of the new collective bargaining agreement, and some things take awhile to soak in. One of them is the “Dos Equis” rule (well, we’re calling it that):
- Veteran players brought in as non-roster invitees must be informed by five days prior to Opening Day that they will (1) make the major-league roster or (2) be released to pursue other opportunities or (3) be paid $100,000 to retain their rights.
Baker was told he wasn’t going to make it and asked for his release. It sounds like the M’s were willing to pay the $100 grand to keep him at Tacoma, but Baker apparently wanted the opportunity more than the money.
There’s no word yet, but it’s doubtful that the M’s will agree to add either to their MLB roster, so the only issue is whether they will cough up the $100K to retain either of them as an option.
UPDATE: Neither Chavez nor Quintero were offered the $100,000 payment, but Chavez agreed to stay with the M’s anyway, signing a re-worked minor-league deal. Quintero may eventually come back as well, but for now he’s a free agent.
More interestingly, other teams will be making the same call with veterans. Erik Bedard, for example (to pick one at random). Bedard was cut loose by the Rays.
MLBTR has the full list here.
Boston is paying the $100K to Dice-K.
David Aardsma anyone? Indians cut ties, and he’s free.
Is there a reason all these veteran retreads were once M’s?
OK, then how about Freddy Garcia? He’s available.
Munenori Kawasaki? Blue Jays apparently popped for the 100 Grand to send him to Buffalo.
Mark Reynolds? No. Brewers are keeping him.
We’ll try to keep you posted if anything else bubbles up.