Contract Options (4)
Joakim Soria (C), Mike Moustakas (M), Jeremy Jeffress (C), Jordan Lyles (C)
(C) – Club Option, (M) – Mutual Option
Joakim Soria added another experienced late inning arm to the back of the Milwaukee Brewers bullpen when he joined the club in July. He wasn’t spectacular, posting a 4.09 ERA in 26 appearances. With a club option for $10 million for next season, it’s an easy decline for GM David Stearns. Soria would be the third or fourth option to close games for Craig Counsell and there’s no reason to pay $10 million for a 7th inning setup man.
Mike Moustakas is the most difficult case of the four. He has a mutual option for $15 million for next season. If he opts out, the Brewers decision is moot, since both would have to opt in. Should he opt in, it will be an interesting decision for David Stearns. Moose was his most productive July pickup and he’s well-liked in Milwaukee. But $15 million is a lot to pay for a player when you already have someone who can play his position in Travis Shaw on the roster. Is Moose worth $15 million? That’s for Stearns to decide, but it’ll be a tough decision either way.
Jeremy Jeffress took over the closer’s role when Corey Knebel hit a major rough patch. He did a tremendous job, becoming an All Star this year, along with closing 15 games with a 1.29 ERA. Jeffress struggled in the postseason, but overall is a great reliever who excels in Milwaukee. His $3.175 million option for next season is an easy pick-up for the Brewers.
Jordan Lyles presents an interesting case for his option as well. It’s not as interesting as Moustakas’ case, but still. Lyles would be due $3.5 million should his contract be picked up. Lyles was an August waiver claim who pitched pretty well, finishing with a 3.31 ERA in 11 appearances. He’s a long relief option at best and there’s already a bunch of those currently on the roster. Unless other room is cleared, don’t be surprised to see the Brewers decline Lyles’ option. $3.5 million isn’t a ton of money, but someone else can fill his role for less money. And the Brewers need to save money wherever they can.