Baseball’s offseason market got busy even faster than usual Tuesday, with teams forced to make quick decisions on contract options as they prepare offers to a relatively weak free-agent class headed by Cliff Lee and Carl Crawford.
Under modifications agreed to by players and owners in September, free agents can start negotiating with all clubs on the sixth day after the World Series (Sunday) rather than the 16th.
Teams and players must decide single options by the third day after the World Series. For mutual options, the side making the first decision must act by the second day, with the other party deciding by the fourth.
The Yankees hope to re-sign their trio of Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte while also trying to pick up Lee.
Other notable free agents include Philadel- phia right fielder Jayson Werth, Boston catcher Victor Martinez, Chicago White Sox first baseman Paul Konerko, Tampa Bay slugger Carlos Pena and closer Rafael Soriano, and Angels designated hitter Hideki Matsui.
Meanwhile, Texas must make a decision on whether to exercise its half of a $9 million mutual option on Vladimir Guerrero or pay the designated hitter a $1 million buyout.
Arizona declined a $7.5 million option on first baseman Adam LaRoche.
Milwaukee declined a $7.5 million mutual option on career saves leader Trevor Hoffman, who gets a $750,000 buyout.
Atlanta exercised $2.5 million options on infielders Alex Gonzalez and Omar Infante, and declined a $6 million option on outfielder Rick Ankiel and a $5.25 million option on right-hander Kyle Farnsworth.
The White Sox agreed to a $1.75 million, one-year contract with infielder Omar Vizquel.
Among players eligible for arbitration, San Diego exercised a $5.9 million option on All-Star first baseman Adrian Gonzalez and Atlanta agreed to a $750,000, one-year contract with right-hander Scott Proctor.
Clearing the bases
A person familiar with the Florida Marlins’ managerial search says Edwin Rodriguez will keep the job next season. … The Boston Red Sox hired Oakland pitching coach Curt Young for the same position.
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