The Giants have declined club options on outfielders Norichika Aoki and Marlon Byrd, according to an announcement from general manager Bobby Evans. The move comes as a bit of a surprise, as San Francisco is known to have interest in bringing back both players.
Aoki's option was for $5.5 million, but he will instead receive a $700K buyout. Byrd will not receive a buyout after the team declined his $8 million option for next season.
According to Andrew Baggarly of the San Jose Mercury News, the Giants were not comfortable committing to Aoki as their starting left-fielder at this point in the offseason without at least considering other options. The 33-year old appeared in only 93 games with San Francisco last season due to multiple injuries, but performed up to his career standard and is likely to draw interest from many teams this winter.
Byrd, 38, may still return to the Giants on a deal worth less than the $8 million option, potentially as a platoon outfield option who can hit lefties well. Byrd performed well with the Giants after being acquired from the Reds in a waiver-wire deal, hitting .272 with four home runs in 39 games down the stretch.