June 21, 2024

CHICAGO — The White Sox declined their option on Tim Anderson‘s contract Saturday, making the shortstop a free agent.

Anderson will receive a $1 million buyout after the White Sox decided not to keep him around for 2024 at a $14 million salary.

Also Saturday, Justin Turner declined his $13.4 million player option with the Red Sox and Boston turned down its $11 million option on right-hander Corey Kluber. Turner gets a $6.7 million buyout, completing a contract he agreed to in January that paid $16 million, including performance bonuses.

Cubs right-hander Marcus Stroman opted out of his contract, a source told ESPN, confirming an MLB Network report. And the Reds declined to pick up first baseman Joey Votto‘s $20 million club option and gave the Cincinnati legend a $7 million buyout instead.

Left-hander Eduardo Rodriguez is opting out of his contract with the Detroit Tigers and declining the final three years and $49 million on his deal, according to multiple reports. The Los Angeles Angels declined a $9 million option on infielder Eduardo Escobar and a $7.5 million option on left-hander Aaron Loup.

Texas Rangers left-hander Andrew Heaney exercised his $13 million player option to remain next season with the World Series champions, who also Saturday exercised a $6 million club option for right-handed reliever Jose Leclerc.

Anderson, 30, posted a minus-2.0 WAR — his first time under replacement level in eight major league seasons — after hitting .245 with one home run and 25 RBIs in 123 games. A two-time All-Star, Anderson hit a major-league-best .335 in 2019. But he was dogged by injuries the past two years, including a sprained left knee and right shoulder soreness in 2023.

The White Sox this week also declined the $15 million option on closer Liam Hendriks, who is not expected to pitch until the end of the 2024 season at the earliest after having Tommy John surgery. Right-hander Mike Clevinger declined his $12 million mutual option.

A two-time All-Star, Turner has a .288 average with 187 home runs and 759 RBIs in 15 major league seasons with Baltimore (2009-10), the New York Mets (2010-13), the Los Angeles Dodgers (2014-22) and the Red Sox. The 38-year-old hit .276 with 23 home runs and 96 RBIs in his one season in Boston.

Kluber, 37, was 3-6 with a 7.04 ERA in nine starts and six relief appearances under a one-year, $10 million deal. He was Boston’s Opening Day starter but was dropped from the rotation in late May and didn’t make a big league appearance after June 20 because of right shoulder inflammation.

Stroman, 32, was 10-9 with a 3.95 ERA last season but endured a year of differing halves, making the All-Star team with a 2.96 ERA in the first half but then compiling an 8.63 ERA in the second half. He also got hurt, first going on the IL in August with a hip injury before a rib cartilage fracture kept him out until near the end of the season. He made four appearances in September but never recaptured his first-half dominance.

Stroman signed a three-year, $71 million contract with the Cubs just before the lockout began in 2021 that included an opt-out after the second year. Considering his second half last season, there was some question as to whether Stroman would exercise his opt-out and forgo a $21 million salary for 2024.

The Cubs’ rotation now has a hole in it that could be filled by up-and-coming prospect Cade Horton. Holdovers include Justin Steele, Jameson Taillon, Javier Assad and Jordan Wicks. The team is expected to pick up veteran right-hander Kyle Hendricks‘ $16 million option for 2024.

Votto, 40, has spent all 17 seasons of his major league career with Cincinnati. The buyout completed a contract that guaranteed $251.5 million over 12 seasons.

A six-time All-Star first baseman and 2010 National League MVP, Votto was a second-round pick by the Reds in 2002. He batted .294 with 2,135 hits, 356 home runs and 1,144 RBIs in 2,056 games since his 2007 debut with Cincinnati but posted a career-worst .202 batting average in 2023 with 14 home runs and 38 RBIs in 65 games as he was limited by a shoulder injury.

“At this point of the offseason, based on our current roster and projected plans for 2024, as an organization we cannot commit to the playing time Joey deserves,” Reds president of baseball operations Nick Krall said. “He forever will be part of the Reds’ family, and at the appropriate time we will thank and honor him as one of the greatest baseball players of this or any generation.”

The Reds also declined their part of a $4 million mutual option with catcher Curt Casali, who gets a $750,000 buyout.

Rodriguez, 30, was 13-9 with a 3.30 ERA in 26 starts in 2023. He threw 152⅔ innings and struck out 143 with 48 walks. An injury to his left index finger forced Rodriguez to miss about five weeks of the season.

The Tigers tried to deal Rodriguez to the Dodgers at the trade deadline, but he invoked the clause in his contract that said he couldn’t be traded to 10 specified teams without his consent.

Heaney had a career high in wins by going 10-6 with a 4.15 ERA in 34 games (28 starts) in his first season for Texas. The 32-year-old started three of the five games he appeared in during the postseason, and his lone career playoff win came in Game 4 of the World Series against Arizona when he allowed one run over five innings.

With his 147 1/3 innings in the regular season, Heaney came up just short of the 150 innings that would have increased the value of his option to $20 million. There would have been a $500,000 buyout had Heaney not exercised his 2024 option.

Leclerc was 1-1 with four saves and a 3.29 ERA while appearing in 13 of the Rangers’ 17 playoff games. He was 0-2 with four saves and a 2.68 ERA over 57 relief appearances during the regular season. He would have gotten a $750,000 buyout if his option wasn’t exercised by the Rangers.

Reuters and The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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