Yankees Decline Their 2016 Options, Brendan Ryan Exercises His

As expected, the Yankees declined their pair of $2 million options for next year on Andrew Bailey and Brendan Ryan.  Also as expected, Ryan exercised his $1 million player option for next year, keeping him on the 40-man roster and for the time being in the plans for 2016 as the backup shortstop. Despite declining the option on Bailey, the Yankees do retain control over him as an arbitration-eligible player.  Nifty little job of contract/team control work there by Cash.  The Yankees very clearly like Bailey and wanted to give him as much time as possible to come back from his shoulder problems and prove he can still be an effective Major League pitcher.  He did the former this past season, throwing 30+ MiL innings and 8.2 innings in 10 MLB appearances.  The latter, not so much.  Bailey posted an 8.31 ERA in his small comeback sample with 10 hits, 5 walks, and only 6 strikeouts in his 8.2 IP.

Between the projected 900k salary in 2016 and the brutal numbers in 2015, I say it's a coin flip on whether the Yanks bring Bailey back.  That money is pocket change to the Steinbrenners, but the Yankees have plenty of young right-handed relief prospects and there was nothing to indicate that Bailey will be returning to his early career form next season.  They could use that roster spot to fill another need.

Ryan is what he is at this point and there's no reason to expect that to change either.  There are probably better ways to use that roster spot too, but there is value in a flexible infield glove man who can hit lefties a little bit.  As long as he isn't forced into regular playing time by an injury to Didi, I can live with one more year of Ryan.  It's more the Yankees' fault for signing him to the contract they did than it is Ryan's fault that he sucks.