Since I have personally lost hope for this season lets take a look ahead to the offseason. Today we will start with the question of picking up Akinori Iwamura’s opition for next season.
The option is worth $4.25 million with a $250K buyout. Aki is 30 yrs. old and holds a .282 batting average. Usually someone with his talent and solid defensive ability would warrant to be picked up for next season.
But yet again we see how the Rays are able to find alternatives for situations like this. The emergence of Ben Zobrist and a trade for Matt Joyce last year should make the case to buyout Aki’s option. There is totally no need to waste $4.25 million on Aki when we have better and cheaper options for the future.
Another idea is to pick up Aki’s option and trade him for more future talent. But the return on a 30 yr. old second baseman who is about, maybe even above average is probably C level talent.
Dumping Aki preserves the chance of keeping Crawford next season and probably even deeper. Knowing how the front office works they will make the best choice they feel for the team. That best choice consists of buying out Iwamura’s option.