CLEVELAND, OH - SEPTEMBER 1: Starting pitcher Scott Feldman #39 of the Texas Rangers pitches during the first inning against the Cleveland Indians at Progressive Field on September 1, 2012 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)
While the Texas Rangers have six players eligible for free agency at the season's end, they only have one player with a contract option for 2013: right-hander Scott Feldman. The 29-year-old Feldman holds a $9.25 million club option for next season with a $600k buyout.
Feldman is coming to the end of a two-year $11.5 million contract that paid him $4.4 million in 2011 and $6.5 million this season. A fixture in the Rangers' starting rotation from 2008-2010, Feldman spent much of 2011 on the disabled list and has bounced between the rotation and bullpen this year.
Feldman began 2012 in the bullpen but quickly moved into the rotation because of injuries. Though the right-hander had a solid stretch from mid-June to early August, his starts have been far from reliable. Earlier this week, Feldman was demoted to the bullpen after several poor starts -- pushing his ERA to 5.32 -- in favor of rookie left-hander Martin Perez.
Now in his eighth season with the Rangers, Feldman has amassed a 4.84 ERA, 5.3 K/9 and 3.1 BB/9 across seven-hundred nineteen career innings. The way Feldman's contract was structured may lead one to believe the Rangers were hoping to see growth from the right-hander that just has not occurred. There are several reasons I am not a general manager, but $9.25 million seems like a lot to give to a long reliever and sometime spot-starter putting up replacement level numbers.
Should the Rangers exercise Scott Feldman's option?