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Roundup: Orioles decline Reynolds' $11M option

BALTIMORE (AP) -- The Baltimore Orioles have exercised a $1 million option on right-handed reliever Luis Ayala and declined an $11 million option on first baseman Mark Reynolds.

Reynolds gets a $500,000 buyout as part of the contract he signed with Arizona in 2010 and is eligible for salary arbitration. He hit .221 with 23 homers and 69 RBIs in 135 games.

The 34-year-old Ayala went 5-5 with a 2.64 ERA in 66 appearances with Baltimore. He allowed one earned run or fewer in all but seven outings.

The Orioles also selected the contract of pitcher Zach Clark from Triple-A Norfolk, adding him to the 40-man roster. Clark was a combined 15-7 with a 2.79 ERA with Norfolk and Double-A Bowie.

KANSAS CITY, Mo. (AP) The Royals have declined their 2013 option on Joakim Soria after he missed all of last season because of Tommy John surgery, making the former All-Star closer a free agent.

The Royals chose to exercise a $750,000 buyout clause on the right-hander Wednesday rather than the $8 million option for next season. Even though Soria is a free agent, both sides have expressed interest in working out a new contract.

Soria missed the 2003 season with his first Tommy John surgery. He was chosen by the Royals in the Rule 5 draft in 2006, and evolved into one of the league's top closers, saving 160 games and putting together a 2.40 ERA in parts of five seasons.

He was voted to the All-Star game in 2008 and 2010.

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) -- The Tampa Bay Rays exercised contract options Wednesday on pitcher James Shields, closer Fernando Rodney and catcher Jose Molina.

The team also declined its $6 million option on designated hitter Luke Scott, instead paying him a $1 million buyout.

Shields, who was 15-10 with a 3.52 ERA last season, gets a $9.5 million salary next year rather than a $1.5 million buyout. The 30-year-old right-hander ranked third in the American League in innings (227 2-3), fourth in strikeouts (223) and 12th in ERA. He has pitched 200 or more innings in six consecutive seasons.

Tampa Bay has a $12 million option on Shields for 2014 with a $1 million buyout

Rodney, the AL comeback player of the year, set a club record with a career-best 48 saves in his first season with the Rays. The 35-year-old right-hander had a 0.60 ERA, a big league record for a reliever with at least 50 innings pitched. Tampa Bay picked up his $2.5 million option rather than pay him a $250,000 buyout.

Molina, 37, gets $1.5 million next season instead of a $300,000 buyout. He batted .223 and set career highs with eight homers and 32 RBIs in 102 games this year, his 13th in the majors.

The 34-year-old Scott hit .229 with 14 home runs and 55 RBIs in 96 games during his first year with the Rays. He was on the disabled list twice and missed 45 games.

CLEVELAND (AP) -- The Cleveland Indians have picked up Ubaldo Jimenez's $5.75 million contract option for next season.

The Indians, who collapsed from contention in August, also declined a $13 million option on designated hitter Travis Hafner and a $6 million option on right-hander Roberto Hernandez.

Jimenez went 9-17 with a 5.40 ERA in 31 starts last season. The right-hander has been a major disappointment since he was acquired in 2011 from Colorado for top pitching prospects Alex White and Drew Pomeranz.

Hafner had another injury-shortened season. He batted .228 with 12 homers and 34 RBIs in 66 games.

Hernandez's season was delayed because of false identity charges in the Dominican Republic. Formerly known as Fausto Carmona, he went 0-3 with a 7.53 ERA in three starts. Hafner and Hernandez are both eligible for free agency.

CINCINNATI (AP) -- Reds outfielder Ryan Ludwick became a free agent Wednesday after declining his $5 million contract option for next season, looking for a bigger deal after his strong second half played a big role in Cincinnati winning the NL Central title.

The 34-year-old Ludwick was the Reds' top hitter while first baseman Joey Votto missed 48 games with a knee injury, batting .340 with 12 homers and 36 RBIs. Ludwick hit .275 overall in 125 games with 26 homers and 80 RBIs. He went 6 for 18 (.333) with three homers, four RBIs and four walks in the division series loss to World Series champion San Francisco.

The Reds signed Ludwick to a one-year deal for 2012 that included a $2 million base salary, and he earned an additional $350,000 in performance bonuses based on plate appearances. After turning down his part of a mutual option for 2013, he gets a $500,000 buyout. Although the Reds are interested in keeping him, Ludwick decided to see what kind of deal he can get on the open market.

Relief pitcher Ryan Madson also became a free agent Wednesday after declining a mutual option. The right-hander needed reconstructive elbow surgery after tearing a ligament during spring training and missed the entire season. Left-hander Aroldis Chapman moved into the role and saved 38 games in 43 chances.

Madson had a $6 million salary this year, of which $2 million was deferred until Thursday and another $2 million until Nov. 1, 2013. He agreed to that deal in January after a $44 million, four-year deal to stay with the Philadelphia Phillies collapsed last November.

Madson would have made $11 million next year under the mutual option. Instead, he got a $2.5 million buyout. The Reds weren't going to exercise the 2013 option. They've expressed an interest in signing him to a less-expensive deal and giving him a chance to continue his recovery.

Jonathan Broxton was Cincinnati's other reliever with closing experience. The Reds got him from Kansas City in a trade at the July deadline. His contract also was up after the season.

PITTSBURGH (AP) -- The Pittsburgh Pirates have picked up the option on third baseman Pedro Alvarez and parted ways with catcher Rod Barajas.

The 25-year-old Alvarez enjoyed a breakout season in 2012, batting .244 with a career-high 30 home runs and 85 RBIs in 149 games. His home run total was 10th best in the National League, though he also led NL third basemen in errors with 27 and finished second in the NL in strikeouts with 180.

Barajas, who signed with the Pirates as a free agent last winter, struggled at the plate and on defense. The 37-year-old hit just .206 with 11 homers and 31 RBI and threw out only six of 99 base stealers.

Pittsburgh also released reliever Hisanori Takahashi, who posted an 8.64 ERA in nine appearances.

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