Fire decline Segares' option in advance of re-entry draft

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Fire decline Segares' option in advance of re-entry draft

Its not unusual for the Fire, or any Major League Soccer club, to decline options on players in preparation for the next season. Salary cap considerations play into such decisions as well as player performances.

This week, the Fire declined at least initially to bring back three players in preparation for Fridays start of the MLS re-entry draft.

Two were not surprising. Jay Nolly, the third goalkeeper, didnt play a game for the first team this season and rarely even dressed for one. Midfielder Corben Bone was the clubs first-round draft choice (13th overall) in 2010 but never made a significant impact.

The third player declined for 2013, however, was defender Gonzalo Segares. Hes been a mainstay at left back for eight seasons and also has been versatile enough to play in the midfield when needed. He was the clubs Defender of the Year in 2007 and has played in 178 games and 13 postseason matches for the Fire. His loss would be felt immediately.

Declining the option on Segares for next season was a calculated risk from the clubs perspective, and its not a done deal that he wont be back at least not yet. The re-entry draft represents a chance for players in their option years or out of contract to test their market value.

Segares can remain in the re-entry draft, in which each club puts such players up for selection by other teams. Such players from other league teams on this years re-entry lists include forward Juan Pablo Angel and midfielder Danny Califf of Chivas USA, defender Marvell Wynne of Colorado, midfielder Tony Tchani of Columbus and midfielder Julian de Guzman and goalkeeper Kevin Hartman of FC Dallas.

Also among the 63 players made available for the re-entry process are a trio who once did time with the Fire John Thorrington (now with Vancouver), Chad Barrett (Los Angeles) and Justin Mapp (Montreal).

They could be claimed by another team on Friday, provided that club is willing to meet the players current salary requirements. If not, the players will be up for bidding again on Dec. 14 without that restriction.

Only five players were selected on the first round of the re-entry draft since MLS has conducted it. More get chosen in the second phase, and the Fire landed defender Cory Gibbs via that method in 2010.

Things could change by Friday. Some of the players up for the re-entry draft will opt out of the process and sign with their present teams. They could also be traded or they could head to foreign clubs.

Seemingly, the re-entry draft begins the process for roster adjustments for 2013, but some teams have already taken major steps. Real Salt Lake sent Jamison Olave, the MLS Defender-of-the-Year in 2010, and striker Fabian Espindola, who had nine goals and seven assists this season, to the New York Red Bulls for allocation money that will presumably be spent to acquire a top level offensive player. RSL also picked up more allocation dollars by sending midfielder Will Johnson to Portland.

Olave, a two-time selection to the MLS Best XI, became expendable in part because of the development of Kwame Watson-Siriboe, a former Fire draftee who couldnt earn a place in Chicago.

In another personnel move, the Vancouver Whitecaps traded Atiba Harris, a striker for the St. Kitts & Nevis national team, to Colorado for an international roster spot.

White Sox manager Rick Renteria 'surprised' Melky Cabrera hasn't been traded

White Sox manager Rick Renteria 'surprised' Melky Cabrera hasn't been traded

KANSAS CITY, Mo. — The White Sox have offloaded more pieces in the past eight months than that furniture store that always seems to be going out of business.

Everything. Must. Go.

Even so, the team hasn’t found any takers for veteran outfielder Melky Cabrera, who finished with four hits in Saturday night’s 7-2 White Sox loss to the Kansas City Royals. Cabrera finished a triple shy of the cycle and drove in two runs. That Cabrera still resides on the South Side is a surprise to White Sox manager Rick Renteria.

“Honestly yeah, to be honest,” Renteria said. “To me he’s a premier Major League baseball player who has been playing outstanding defense. And he has been for us one of the two or three guys who has been timing his hitting in terms of driving in runs when we need them, putting together really good at-bats when we need them. Just playing the game. Yeah, kind of surprised.”

Despite making their intentions known that everyone short of Tim Anderson and Carlos Rodon are available, Cabrera’s name has barely registered a blip on the radar when it comes to trade rumors.

Several factors have probably prevented Cabrera from being dealt, the biggest being his salary. Cabrera is still owed roughly $6.3 million of his $15 million salary, which makes him an expensive option.

Defensive metrics also don’t have much love for Cabrera despite his eight outfield assists. Cabrera’s lack of range has produced minus-6 Defensive Runs Saved and a minus-4.7 Ultimate Zone Rating.

Those figures likely would like have teams lean toward making Cabrera a designated hitter. While he’s been one of the team’s most consistent and prominent offensive performers, Cabrera’s .786 ranks only about 38th in the American League.

As FanRag’s Jon Heyman noted earlier Saturday, to trade Cabrera the White Sox would likely have to eat most of the outfielder’s remaining salary.

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