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Yankees decline option on Andrew Bailey; Brendan Ryan picks up player option

Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

The Yankees are settling their affairs quickly before free agency officially begins this Saturday. They have already allowed Sergio Santos to leave in free agency and outrighted Diego Moreno off the 40-man roster. Stephen Drew, Chris Young, and Chris Capuano have left in free agency and they released Chris Martin, leaving the 40-man roster at 35 yesterday, but it wasn't going to stay that way.

They have also decided to decline the $2 million option they had on Andrew Bailey for the 2016 season. The right-handed reliever made his return to the majors after a year on the shelf, but he didn't really impress in September. Many were excited to see him pitch again, but after an 8.31 ERA over 10 games, it won't be so easy for him to pick up where he left off after recovering from shoulder surgery. This doesn't mean that he's gone from the organization just yet. Bailey is still technically an arbitration-eligible player who the Yankees could tender a contract to. However, it's much more likely that they could simply re-sign him to another minor league deal if they want to bring him back. If he leaves them, though, the 40-man roster will stand at 35.

It won't decrease any further for now because Brendan Ryan has decided to pick up his $1 million option for the 2016 season, staying with the team for his fourth season–if you can believe it. The Yankees declined their $2 million option on the middle infielder, but it wasn't much of a surprise to see him pick up his end of the deal. If put on the open market, it's likely that the best he would get would be a minor league deal and a spring training invite. After another season filled with injury and terrible hitting, this was the best he was going to do.

While it still continues to be an enigma as to why the Yankees ever gave him this deal in the first place, it's not exactly immovable. Maybe a team needs a backup shortstop in spring training and they send over some money or maybe the Yankees just decide to cut him. However it happens, eating $1 million at some point over the next year doesn't sound like it would be much of an issue for them if they think they have a better option (almost anyone probably would be).