Analysis

Exhibit A on Why Player Options Are Bad

Exhibit A on Why Player Options Are Bad

De La Rosa will have Tommy John surgery.

Over the off-season, the Pittsburgh Pirates set out to add to their starting rotation, and made a big push for free agent starter Jorge de la Rosa.  It was reported that the Pirates made a competitive offer for him, although he went to Colorado, largely because he wanted to remain there, but also because they gave him a two year deal with a player option.

If you are unfamiliar with how a player option works, it's probably because they are very rare.  There are three types of options.  There's the traditional club option, where a player's fate is decided by the club.  Paul Maholm has a club option following the year.  If the Pirates decide to exercise it, they pay $9.75 M for Maholm in 2012.  If they decide to decline it, they only pay the $750 K buyout, and Maholm becomes a free agent.  In either case, Maholm has no choice, and his fate is left up to the team.

A player option is the exact opposite.  The player controls his fate.  He cho...

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Tim is the owner and editor in chief of Pirates Prospects. He started the site in January 2009, and turned it into his full time job during the 2011 season. Prior to starting Pirates Prospects, Tim worked with AccuScore.com, providing MLB, NHL, and NFL coverage to various national media outlets, including ESPN Insider, USA Today, Yahoo Sports, and the Wall Street Journal. He also writes the annual Prospect Guide, which is sold through the site. Tim lives in Bradenton, where he provides live coverage all year of Spring Training, mini camp, instructs, the Bradenton Marauders, and the GCL Pirates.

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