The Yankees have made a contract offer to ace CC Sabathia, who has until Monday to decide whether to opt out of the $92 million US and four years remaining on his current deal.
The offer was made over the weekend, the person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press on Sunday, speaking on condition of anonymity because no details were announced.
Sabathia agreed to a $161 million, seven-year contract before the 2009 season and has gone 59-23 with a 3.18 earned-run average during the regular season for New York.
If he opts out, the 31-year-old left-hander would become the top pitcher on the free-agent market.
This year's free agents are headed by Albert Pujols, Prince Fielder, Jose Reyes, C.J. Wilson, Edwin Jackson and Mark Buehrle.
Brewers decline option on K-Rod
Milwaukee reliever Francisco Rodriguez also was among the 148 players who became a free agent.
K-Rod's deal was reworked when he was traded from the New York Mets during the all-star break, changing it to a mutual option from a $17.5 million option that would have become guaranteed had he finished 55 games. Rodriguez, used as a setup man by the Brewers, gets a $4 million buyout, up from the original $3.5 million. According to the reworking of the option, it would only have come into effect if he met the 55 games finished requirement, and he fell 32 short.
In addition, the Brewers declined a $6 million club option on shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt, who gets a $2 million buyout.
Others whose options were declined included Atlanta outfielder Nate McLouth; Colorado right-hander Aaron Cook; and the San Diego trio of right-handers Aaron Harang and Chad Qualls, and outfielder Brad Hawpe.
Toronto Blue Jays relievers Shawn Camp and Frank Francisco, second baseman Kelly Johnson and catcher Jose Molina became free agents, while third baseman Edwin Encarnacion and reliever Jon Rauch were eligible for free agency pending decisions on their options.
The Cubs exercised their side of a $16 million mutual contract option on third baseman Aramis Ramirez, who has informed the team that he will decline his side of the option and become a free agent. He has until Tuesday night to make that decision official. The 33-year-old Ramirez, who joined the Cubs in a 2003 trade from Pittsburgh, batted .306 with 26 homers and 93 RBIs last season.
McLouth receives a $1.25 million buyout rather than a $10.65 million salary for next year under the contract he signed with Pittsburgh before the 2009 season.
Cook had an $11,125,000 player option, but the Rockies then had the chance to decline it and pay a $500,000 buyout.
Harang declined his $5 million player option but does not get a $500,000 buyout because he fell 14 1-3 innings short of the 185 specified in his contract. San Diego declined a $6 million option on Qualls, who gets a $1.05 million buyout.
Hawpe gets a $1 million buyout rather than a $6 million salary after his mutual option was declined by the Padres.
Giants, Lopez agree to terms
Pitcher Javier Lopez agreed to an $8.5 million, two-year contract with the San Francisco Giants rather than become a free agent. The Giants exercised a $5 million club option on fellow left-hander Jeremy Affeldt rather than pay a $500,000 buyout.
Boston exercised a $6 million option on shortstop Marco Scutaro, who turned 36 Sunday.
Decisions on club and player options must be made by the end of Monday. Free agents can start signing with teams Thursday.