Friday's free-agent roundup: Phils, Burnett decline $15M mutual option
NEW YORK — A.J. Burnett and the Philadelphia Phillies both declined their $15 million mutual option Friday, leaving the pitcher to decide whether to exercise his $12.75 million player option.
The 37-year-old Burnett went 8-18 with a 4.59 ERA in 34 starts during his first season with the Phillies and has said he isn't sure whether he wants to pitch next season. He has until Monday to decide on the player option.
Ten more players became free agents Friday, raising the total to 130, and up to 13 more could join them by Monday, depending on option decisions.
Right-hander Yovani Gallardo's $13 million option was exercised by the Milwaukee Brewers, who also exercised their half of third baseman Aramis Ramirez's $14 million option. Ramirez has until Monday to decide on his half of the mutual option.
Milwaukee voided Rickie Weeks' $11.5 million salary for 2015, making the second baseman eligible for free agency. The Brewers had the right to void the salary because Weeks did not have 1,200 plate appearances in 2013-14 combined, with at least 600 this year.
Tampa Bay exercised a $7.5 million option on infielder-outfielder Ben Zobrist, a two-time All-Star who is set to become the first player to spend 10 seasons with the Rays.
Baltimore declined a $17.5 million mutual option on outfielder Nick Markakis, who gets a $2 million buyout, and a $5 million option on catcher Nick Hundley. Boston declined a $4 million option on left-handed reliever Craig Breslow.
The Los Angeles Dodgers declined a $14 million option on right-hander Chad Billingsley, who gets a $3 million buyout. Dodgers reliever Brian Wilson exercised a $10 million player option.
Among other relievers, Detroit exercised Joakim Soria's $7 million option and Colorado exercised a $2.25 million option on closer LaTroy Hawkins, a 41-year-old right-hander who will be entering his 21st major-league season. He was 4-3 with a 3.31 ERA and 23 saves in 26 chances for the Rockies this season, his highest save total since 2004 with the Chicago Cubs.
Cleveland exercised its $3.5 million option for next season on versatile infielder Mike Aviles.
The Chicago White Sox declined a $4 million option on right-hander Felipe Paulino, who didn't pitch in the big leagues after April 18 because of a shoulder injury. He gets a $250,000 buyout.
Toronto agreed to a minor-league contract with left-hander Jeff Francis and claimed outfielder Andy Dirks off waivers from the Detroit Tigers.