The San Francisco Giants have decided not to pick up right-hander Ryan Vogelsong's $6.5 million club option for 2014, according to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com. As part of his prior deal, Vogelsong will receive a $300,000 buyout. The club will announce their decision during a press conference on Monday.
Despite the Giants' choice to decline Vogelsong's option, sources tell Baggarly that the two sides have already begun to discuss a new deal, one which would bring the 36-year-old back for a smaller base salary, but with the ability to earn more via incentives.
Vogelsong, a 2011 All-Star, was originally drafted by the Giants in the 5th round of the 1998 draft, and made his big league debut for the club just two years later. Since then, his story has been well documented, as following a trade to the Pittsburgh Pirates in 2001 (in exchange for right-hander Jason Schmidt), Vogelsong blew out his arm, and didn't return to the majors until late in the 2003 season. Vogelsong then spent three dismal years with the Pirates, posting an ERA of 5.87 from 2003-2006. A free agent at the end of the 2006 season, Vogelsong signed on with the Hanshin Tigers of the NPB, and spent the next three years pitching in Japan. After pitching in the Angels' and Phillies' minor league systems in 2010, Vogelsong re-signed with the Giants in 2011.
Replacing an injured Barry Zito, Vogelsong returned to the majors for the first time in 5 years when he started for the Giants on April 17th, 2011. Vogelsong would go on to become an integral part of the Giants' rotation, going 13-7 with a 2.71 ERA in 2011 before going 14-9 with a 3.37 ERA in 2012. He would start 4 postseason games for the Giants in their 2012 championship run, allowing just 3 runs in nearly 25 innings.
Vogelsong missed much of 2013 dealing with a broken pinky, but was still ineffective even when healthy. In 19 starts, he had a 5.73 ERA and career-low -2.0 wins above replacement.
Along with Vogelsong, the Giants have also declined the 2014 options for left-hander Barry Zito and outfielder Andres Torres, both of whom were a part of the Giants' World Series winning squad in 2010, and in Zito's case, 2012. The team will enter free agency with just three starting pitchers under contract in Madison Bumgarner, Matt Cain, and Tim Lincecum.
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