NEW YORK (AP) — The Yankees declined 2011 options on first baseman-designated hitter Lance Berkman, reliever Kerry Wood and oft-injured first baseman Nick Johnson, and exercised their option on pitching prospect Andrew Brackman.
Berkman’s option was for $15 million, Wood’s for $11 million and Johnson’s for $5.5 million.
Berkman gets a $2 million buyout because of Wednesday’s decision, and Johnson receives a $250,000 buyout.
Acquired from Cleveland at the trade deadline, Wood became Mariano Rivera’s setup man and went 2-0 with an 0.69 ERA in 24 relief appearances for the Yankees. New York may be interested in re-signing him.
Brackman gets a salary of $400,000 in the minor leagues and $1 million in the majors. Signed to a $4.55 million, four-year contract after being selected from North Carolina State with the 30th overall draft pick in 2007, Brackman receives a $1 million bonus because the option was exercised. If it had been declined, his contract specified that the Yankees were required to release him.
Brackman’s career was slowed by elbow ligament-replacement surgery in August 2007 and an appendectomy in June 2008. The 6-foot-10 right-hander was brought up from the minors on Sept. 23 but the 24-year-old has yet to make his major league debut. He was a combined 10-11 with a 3.90 ERA last season between Class A Tampa and Double-A Trenton. He struck out 126 and walked 39 in 140 2-3 innings.
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