Rays Decline Options on Dan Wheeler and Willy Aybar

From Marc Topkin:

Rays decline options on Wheeler ($4M), Aybar ($2.2M). Add Elliot Johnson to 40-man roster. Aybar remains under control, is arb eligible.

And this:

Wheeler on option being declined: "I was a little surprised, but at the same time I wasn't.'' Said he's open to re-signing.

Neither move comes as a huge surprise, as both Aybar and Wheeler were both overpaid considering their relative utilities. Aybar is still under team control, but considering he batted .230 this season and displayed little pop, the Rays can get him for cheaper by going to arbitration or by negotiating another deal. He's a bench player at this point that has decent power against right-handed pitchers, but his defense has eroded to the point where he has limited flexibility.

Wheeler is a Type-A free agent and as far as I know, the Rays still need to decide to offer him arbitration or to let him become a free agent. I'd like to see Wheeler end up back with the Rays one way or the other - when placed in the right situations, he was very effective (3.35 ERA this year) - but it will all come down to price. If the Rays could get him for half or a quarter of his current salary, I'd jump on it in a heartbeat. 

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