The Mets declined on Wednesday the 2021 team options held on the contracts of Wilson Ramos, Todd Frazier and Robinson Chirinos.
That was the expected decision in each of those cases, considering the salaries they would have earned, and amounts to early offseason housekeeping. Ramos, Frazier and Chirinos will become free agents.
As a parting gift, however, they get cash buyouts. That includes $2.5 million total for the catching tandem — $1.5 million for Ramos, $1 million for Chirinos — and another $1.5 million for Frazier, a third baseman.
Had the Mets decided to pick up his option, Ramos would have been due a $10 million salary next season. That figure was $5.75 million for Frazier and $6.5 million for Chirinos.
Chirinos (and cash) and Frazier were acquired from the Rangers in separate trades on Aug. 31. In both cases, the Mets promised Texas a player to be named. They still owe the Rangers both players.
Among other option-related business that needs to be taken care of by the Sunday deadline: player options for relievers Dellin Betances and Brad Brach.
Betances can pick between a $6 million salary for 2021 or a $3 million buyout. Brach’s choice is between more than $2 million for next year or free agency.
Eleven other Mets officially became free agents Wednesday, standard procedure a day after the World Series ended: Yoenis Cespedes, Jared Hughes, Jed Lowrie, Jake Marisnick, Eduardo Nunez, Rick Porcello, Erasmo Ramirez, Rene Rivera, Marcus Stroman, Michael Wacha and Justin Wilson.
Of that group, only Stroman is likely to receive a one-year, $18.9 million qualifying offer from the Mets.
The Mets have until Sunday to make him that offer. Stroman will have 10 days after that to accept it (and come back to the Mets for 2021) or decline it (and stick with free agency). If he declines it and signs elsewhere, the Mets will receive an extra draft pick as compensation, as was the case with Zack Wheeler last year.
Technically, general manager Brodie Van Wagenen remains in charge of the Mets’ baseball operations. But incoming owner Steve Cohen — whose purchase of the team is scheduled to be voted on by MLB owners Friday — and his liaisons such as team-president-to-be Sandy Alderson are allowed to consult on these and other decisions.