Baseball's business began Monday with the New York Yankees exercising $15 million US options on second baseman Robinson Cano and centre fielder Curtis Granderson, two of the disappointments in their American League Championship Series loss to the Detroit Tigers.
Cano hit .313 with 33 homers and 94 runs batted in during the regular season and Granderson hit 43 homers and drove in 106 runs, but had a career-low .232 average and a career-high 195 strikeouts.
Cano batted .075 (3-for-40) in the playoffs with no homers and Granderson was 3-for-30 with 16 strikeouts. Both can become free agents after the 2013 season.
In addition, the Yankees exercised a $500,000 option on reliever David Aardsma, who came back from elbow ligament-replacement surgery to pitch one inning at the end of the season.
Decisions on options are due by 11:59 p.m. ET Friday, although some individual player contracts require they be made earlier.
Meanwhile Oakland, the surprise AL West champion with a major league-low $59.5 million payroll, exercised a $4.5 million option for closer Grant Balfour and declined its half of a $10 million mutual option for shortstop Stephen Drew, who receives a $1.35 million buyout.
"It's great," Balfour said. "I would like to stay longer. Hopefully we can work something out. I believe we are young and have a lot of good times ahead for the Oakland organization and the fans."
In other moves:
Also Friday, teams have until 5 p.m. ET to make $13.3 million qualifying offers to their players who became free agents. A player must have been with the team since the start of the season to be eligible.
If a player receives the offer, he has until Nov. 9 to accept it. A team is eligible to receive draft pick compensation if a player turns down the qualifying offer and signs a big league contract with another team before June's amateur draft.
This replaces the system of offering salary arbitration to free agents under the formula from the 1981 strike settlement.