Scarpetta could qualify for fourth option
This item was included in my Brewers.com Inbox yesterday, but with prospect lists coming out I wanted to spotlight it here so we tuck it into our memory banks. Right-hander Cody Scarpetta appears on track to join a small group of players eligible for a fourth Minor League option, meaning the Brewers will get two more seasons to develop him into a Major Leaguer.
Here’s the short version of his story: Scarpetta was drafted and signed by the Brewers in 2007, only to have his contract voided because of a torn tendon at the base of his right middle finger. The Brewers signed Scarpetta to a new deal, and per baseball’s rules, had to immediately place him on the 40-man roster.Essentially, it placed Scarpetta on the fast track. Instead of evaluating him over five years before Scarpetta’s “option clock” started ticking, the Brewers had to start burning his options. They used one in 2009, one in ’10 and are expected to use another in ’11. Typically, a player has three options over the course of his career, and once they are out, the team must expose the player to waivers before sending him to the Minor Leagues.But once again, a rules technicality may come into play. A small number of players qualify for a fourth option if they have been optioned in three seasons but do not yet have five full seasons (of at least 90 days on an active professional roster) of pro experience. In 2009, then-Brewers infielder Hernan Iribarren thought he was out of options, only to learn just before the start of Spring Training that he was unlucky enough to qualify for a fourth. Just this winter, the Pirates were granted a fourth option for first baseman Steve Pearce.The Brewers anticipate Scarpetta joining that group, but Major League Baseball does not award those fourth options until the original three are exhausted. It would give the Brewers another year to evaluate Scarpetta, who turns 23 in August and is probably in line for a promotion to Double-A Huntsville this season. It looks like he won’t be in the big league discussion until 2012.