MLB news: Brian McCann, Rays infielders, Orioles options

Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE

Brian McCann was offered a qualifying offer while several decisions were made on player options.

Braves make McCann qualifying offer

As expected, the Atlanta Braves offered catcher Brian McCann a qualifying offer as he is poised to become a free agent, reports Jerry Crasnick of ESPN.

The 2014 qualifying offer is valued at $14.1 million. Were McCann to accept, he would receive that salary in a one-year contract. If McCann declines, he's a free agent and any signing team would be required to give up a draft pick in the 2014 draft.

McCann is almost certain to decline the offer and hit the open market. Barring any major surprises, he will receive a multi-year deal this offseason to be made one of the highest-paid catchers in the MLB. Teams like the Yankees and Rangers have already expressed interest in signing the 29 year old.

McCann played in 102 games for the Braves in 2013, hitting .256/.336/.461. He has hit at least 20 home runs in seven of his eight full seasons in the majors.

Rays pick up options

The Tampa Bay Rays picked up options on both shortstop Yunel Escobar and second baseman Ben Zobrist on Tuesday, reports Marc Topkin of the Tampa Bay Times.

Escobar will make $5 million in 2014 while Zobrist will pull in $7 million. Escobar posted a 698 OPS while Zobrist hit for a 756 OPS and led the team in on base percentage. Both players also have similarly priced options for the 2015 season.

The Rays also hold options on outfielder David DeJesus and Juan Oviedo. The team must decide if they want to pick those options up by Sunday for DeJesus and Monday for Oviedo.

Orioles options unlikely to be picked up

The Baltimore Orioles are expected to decline options on pitcher Tsuyoshi Wada and infielder Alexi Casilla, reports the Baltimore Sun.

Baltimore is hoping to re-sign Wada to a minor league deal rather than pay him the $5 million his option would require. The Japanese import signed with the Orioles following a 2011 season, posting a 1.51 ERA and 1.00 WHIP over 26 starts with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks. Now 32, Wada has not pitched in a single game for Baltimore due to Tommy John surgery.

Casilla is not expected to be back. He received unsteady work in one season with the Orioles while mostly playing second base. Never known to be a strong hitter, Casilla posted just a 563 OPS in 2013.

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