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D-backs to decline options on pitcher trio

Two hurlers also outrighted off Arizona's 40-man roster
@SteveGilbertMLB
October 28, 2020

The D-backs will decline the contract options on relievers Junior Guerra, Héctor Rondón and starter Mike Leake, according to general manager Mike Hazen. Teams have until Sunday to exercise or decline the contract options on players for 2021. Rondón and Leake will become free agents, while Guerra will remain under

The D-backs will decline the contract options on relievers Junior Guerra, Héctor Rondón and starter Mike Leake, according to general manager Mike Hazen.

Teams have until Sunday to exercise or decline the contract options on players for 2021.

Rondón and Leake will become free agents, while Guerra will remain under club control as an arbitration-eligible player. The D-backs have until Dec. 2 to decide whether to non-tender Guerra, which would make him a free agent as well.

Dates, decisions: D-backs offseason FAQ

Guerra made $2.65 million in 2020 and was 1-2 with a 3.04 ERA in 25 games. His option for ‘21 was for $3.5 million and he will receive a $100,000 buyout.

Rondón made $3 million in 2020 and struggled mightily, compiling a 7.65 ERA and allowing six home runs in 20 innings. His option for ‘21 was for $4 million and he will receive a $500,000 buyout.

Leake, who elected not to play in 2020, would have made $18 million had his ‘21 option been picked up, but he will instead receive a $5 million buyout. As part of the trade with the Mariners at the Trade Deadline in ‘19, Seattle will pay Arizona to cover that buyout.

With the industry expecting a lot of non-tendered players this offseason, the D-backs may believe they’ll be able to find bargains when it comes to their bullpen.

Prior to the end of the 2020 regular season, D-backs team president/CEO Derrick Hall said it was hard to predict what the team’s payroll will be in ‘21 given all the uncertainty. When Hazen was asked about it again Wednesday, he declined to reveal much.

“I’m not going to talk about that, obviously, for competitive reasons,” Hazen said. “We’ve had some conversations, but I’m not going to talk about that now.”

The only other player with a contract option is right-hander Merrill Kelly. It seems all but certain the D-backs will exercise his $4.25 million option.

Hazen said that Kelly, who had thoracic outlet surgery Sept. 9, has recovered nicely and will start a throwing program in December.

In other news, the D-backs on Tuesday outrighted pitchers Silvino Bracho and Bo Takahashi to Triple-A Reno, which removed both from Arizona’s 40-man roster.

The moves leave the D-backs with two open spaces, and they are likely to clear more room on the 40-man in the coming weeks. That’s because the deadline for adding players in order to protect them from the Rule 5 Draft is Nov. 20.

Bracho could have simply been non-tendered on Dec. 2, but by outrighting him now, the team has his roster spot available for the Nov. 20 deadline.

“It’s more of a timing element,” Hazen said. “We were doing it to clear a roster spot. We know we’re going to need at least a handful of spots, so we’re sort of getting in front of it now.”

Steve Gilbert has covered the D-backs for MLB.com since 2001. Follow him on Twitter @SteveGilbertMLB.