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Major League Baseball's free-agent market will not open for business until Monday. Between now and then, teams and players across the league will be making decisions on various kinds of contractual options. Our own Mike Axisa analyzed five of the most intriguing calls elsewhere, including those belonging to right-handed starter Marcus Stroman and shortstop Tim Anderson.

Below, CBS Sports will be chronicling the weekend's most notable option calls ahead of the official start of business. To improve your reading experience, we've separated the options into two handy categories: those that were exercised and those that were declined (making the player a free agent).


Eduardo Rodriguez, LHP, Detroit Tigers
Rodriguez had three years and $49 million left on his contract with Detroit, but Jon Heyman reports that he's opted out and chosen free agency. Rodriguez in his age-30 season re-established his value quite nicely by registering a 3.30 ERA and 2.98 K/BB ratio in 152 2/3 innings for the Tigers. He owns an ERA+ of 112 across parts of eight MLB seasons.

Marcus Stroman, RHP, Chicago Cubs
Stroman exercised his opt-out with one year and $21 million remaining on his Cubs pact, Jon Heyman has reported. That means he's a free agent and thus available to all teams. Stroman, 32, is coming off a 2023 season in which he pitched to a 3.95 ERA/113 ERA+ with a K/BB ratio of 2.29 in 136 2/3 innings -- an innings total compromised by a hip injury that cost him almost six weeks. This past year, Stroman was named an All-Star for the second time in his career. 

Sean Manaea, LHP, San Francisco Giants
Manaea is in free agency after turning down a $12.5 million option with the Giants in 2024. Manaea had some strong years in Oakland, but has not found that form with the Padres or Giants in the last two seasons. He had a 4.44 ERA (95 ERA+) in 37 apperances (10 starts) in San Francisco in 2023.


Kyle Hendricks, RHP, Chicago Cubs
As expected, the Cubs picked up their $16.5 million club option for Hendricks, reports ESPN. Hendricks is the team's longest-tenured player. The two sides reported discussed an extension last month, and they could still agree to a new deal, but Chicago went ahead and picked up the option before Monday's deadline. Hendricks, 33, returned from shoulder surgery this season and threw 137 innings with a 3.74 ERA.

Josh Bell, 1B, Miami Marlins
Bell will return to the Marlins for the 2024 season as the veteran first baseman exercised his $16.5 million option for next season, per the Miami Herald. Acquired from Cleveland at the trade deadline, Bell hit .270/.338/.480 in 53 games with Miami. Bell, 31, totaled 22 home runs in 2022. The Marlins are Bell's fifth MLB team, and 2024 will be his ninth season in the league.

Max Kepler, OF, Minnesota Twins
Kepler launched 24 home runs and posted the second best OPS+ of his career in 2023. The Twins rewarded him by exercising a $10 million club option (as opposed to a $1 million buyout). Kepler will become a free agent next winter.

Jorge Polanco, 2B, Minnesota Twins
Polanco has missed serious time because of injury over the last two seasons, appearing in just 184 total games. He's produced when healthy, and that was reason enough for the Twins to exercise a $10.5 million club option. The Twins retained a club option on Polanco for the 2025 season as well.

Andrew Heaney, LHP, Texas Rangers
Heaney has exercised his $13 million player option for the 2024 season. He posted a 4.15 ERA (107 ERA+) and a 2.52 strikeout-to-walk ratio in 34 appearances with the Rangers.

José Leclerc, RHP, Texas Rangers
The Rangers exercised Leclerc's club option worth $6.25 million. He appeared 57 times for the Rangers in 2023, compiling a 2.68 ERA (167 ERA+) and a 2.39 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Ross Stripling, RHP, San Francisco Giants
Stripling will use his player option to return to the Giants in 2024, per KNBR. The righty signed a two-year, $25 million deal last winter and struggled in 2023. He posted a 5.36 ERA in 89 innings across 22 appearances (11 of which were starts).

Chad Green, RHP, Blue Jays
The Jays picked up their two successive options on Green, which means he's now under contract with them for 2024 and 2025. The 32-year-old Green is coming off a 2023 campaign in which he pitched to a 5.25 ERA and 4.00 K/BB ratio in 12 innings. It was mostly a lost season, as he didn't make his return from Tommy John surgery until early September. 


Michael Wacha, RHP, Padres
The Padres have declined Wacha's two-year, $32 million club option. Wacha is now expected to decline his $6.5 million player option, making him a free agent, according to The Athletic's Dennis Lin. Wacha started 24 times for San Diego, posting a 3.22 ERA (127 ERA+) and a 2.88 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Joey Votto, 1B, Reds
The club announced that it was moving on from the franchise legend, which means they'll pay his $7 million buyout rather than picking up the $20 million team option for 2024. Votto, 40, is coming off a 2023 season in which he slashed .202/.314/.433 with 14 home runs in 65 games. Given his age and recent injury history, Votto may opt for retirement. Whatever the case, he stands as one of the greatest players in Reds history.

Cody Bellinger, OF, Chicago Cubs
In what was a mere formality, Bellinger declined his half of a $25 million option, the team announced. He will receive a $5 million buyout and become a free agent. Bellinger, who is still only 28, authored a .307/.356/.525 batting line in 2023, and is poised to sign a nine-figure contract this offseason.

Tim Anderson, SS, White Sox
The White Sox have declined their $14 million option on Anderson and instead opted for the $1 million buyout. That makes Anderson, 30, a free agent coming off the worst season of his career. In 2023, he batted just .245/.286/.296 with only one home run in 123 games. Anderson also showed signs of decline in the field, so it could be a tough market for the two-time All-Star.

Justin Turner, DH, Red Sox
Turner has declined his $13.4 million player option, the Red Sox announced. Turner will collect a $6.7 million buyout and become a free agent. Thanks to the buyout, this was only a $6.7 million decision for Turner. He should have no trouble beating that on the open market, even with his 39th birthday coming up later this month.

Liam Hendriks, RHP, Chicago White Sox
As expected, the White Sox declined their $15 million club option on Hendriks, according to the New York Post. His option decision was one of the most interesting of the offseason. The White Sox still owe Hendriks a $15 million buyout, though it will be paid out in $1.5 million annual installments from 2024-35 rather than all in 2024. Hendriks had Tommy John surgery in August and is likely to miss the entire 2024 season.

Mike Clevinger, RHP, Chicago White Sox
Clevinger declined his half of a $12 million mutual option, the White Sox announced Friday. He will receive a $4 million buyout and become a free agent. The 32-year-old had a solid 2023 season -- 3.77 ERA and 3.3 WAR in 131 1/3 innings -- and figures to seek a multi-year contract in a free-agent market that is thin on quality starting pitchers.

Nick Martinez, RHP, San Diego Padres
Martinez and the Padres have declined their respective options -- a $16 million club option for 2024 and an $8 million player option. That puts Martinez on the market. This past season, he made nine starts and 54 relief appearances for San Diego. Over that stretch, Martinez had an ERA of 3.43 in 110 1/3 innings. He's 33 years of age.

Hector Neris, RHP, Houston Astros
Neris has passed on his his $8.5 million player option for 2024 and will become a free agent, Chandler Rome reports. Neris, 34, is coming off an excellent season in the Houston bullpen. In 68 1/3 relief innings for the Astros, he put up an ERA of 1.71 with 77 strikeouts.

Seth Lugo, RHP, San Diego Padres
Lugo started a career-high 26 games for the Padres last season, amassing a 3.57 ERA (115 ERA+) and a 3.89 strikeout-to-walk ratio. That was enough for him to decline a $7.5 million player option in favor of testing the open market again.

Lance Lynn, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
The Dodgers have declined their $18 million option on Lynn's services, according to The Athletic's Fabian Ardaya. Lynn, acquired from the Chicago White Sox at the deadline, will instead receive a $1 million buyout. Lynn started 32 games last season, compiling a 5.73 ERA (77 ERA+) and a 2.85 strikeout-to-walk ratio.

Whit Merrifield, 2B/LF, Toronto Blue Jays
Merrifield and the Blue Jays each declined their portions of an $18 million mutual option. As such, Merrifield will collect a $500,000 buyout en route to the open market. He made his third All-Star Game last season, though he also finished with the second-lowest full-season WAR total of his career.

Jorge Soler, OF, Miami Marlins
That Soler rejected a $13 million player option should come as no surprise. He had one of the best offensive seasons of his career in 2023, homering 36 times and amassing a 128 OPS+. He now profiles as one of the better DH options in the class.

Brad Hand, LHP, Atlanta Braves
The Braves declined Hand's option for the 2024 season. Hand was acquired at the trade deadline from Colorado and had a 7.50 ERA in 20 appearances for Atlanta.

Johnny Cueto, RHP, Miami Marlins
The Marlins declined Cueto's $10.5M option for 2024, per the New York Post. The 37-year-old righty had a 6.02 ERA in 13 appearances in 2023.

Joe Kelly, RHP, Los Angeles Dodgers
Kelly, a right-handed reliever, will be in free agency after the Dodgers declined his $9.5M option for next season. Kelly pitched for both the Dodgers and White Sox in 2023, and had a cumulative 4.12 ERA in 42 games.

Adam Ottavino, RHP, New York Mets
Ottavino is declining his $6.75M player option for 2024, per the New York Post. Ottavino, 37, had a 3.21 ERA (132 ERA+) in 66 games for the Mets in 2023.