The Toronto Blue Jays exercised the 2015 options of left-hander J.A. Happ ($6.7 million) and catcher Josh Thole ($1.75 million), the team announced Saturday.
The club also exercised Adam Lind’s option before trading him to the Milwaukee Brewers for right-hander Marco Estrada.
However, the Blue Jays declined the options for right-hander Dustin McGowan ($4 million option/$500,000 buyout), right-hander Brandon Morrow ($10 million option/$1 million buyout), right-hander Sergio Santos ($6 million option/$750,000 buyout) and first-baseman Justin Smoak ($3.65 million option/$150,000 buyout).
McGowan, Morrow and Santos are now free agents who will be free to sign with any team once free agency opens in earnest Tuesday.
Smoak remains under team control via the arbitration process even though the team declined his option. He should expect a 2015 arbitration salary in the $3 million range, according to MLB Trade Rumors.
Santos had a difficult season in 2014, posting an 8.57 ERA in 26 appearances with the Blue Jays. He battled command issues (18 walks in 21 innings) and had a stint on the disabled list due to right forearm soreness.
However, he was extremely effective as recently as 2013, when he posted a 1.75 ERA with 28 strikeouts in 25.2 innings. The Blue Jays initially acquired him from the Chicago White Sox for Nestor Molina in December of 2011.