Exercised the 2007 Options of RHP Jake Westbrook ($6.1M) and OF Casey Blake ($3.75M)
Both decisions were very easy to make, because if the options were declined, both players would have headed to arbitration and a certain raise.
Casey Blake reinvented himself since moving to the outfield, becoming a more all-around player as he moved to a position where his athleticism shines through. He can still play the infield, but his best position is in right field, a position he didn't play regularly until last season.
Jake Westbrook finished 2006 with 211.1 innings pitched, the third straight season Jake topped the 210 inning mark. And those innings weren't simply empty innings; he posted a 107 ERA+ pitching in front of a poor infield defense. He's a perfect middle of the rotation pitcher, and the Indians should try to extend him past this upcoming season.
Declined the 2007 Option of 3B Aaron Boone ($3.75M)
Another no-brainer. Boone was a good sport about his demotion in late July, but he needs to move on; he's probably done as a starting third baseman, but he should find work as a part-timer in the National League. Andy Marte and Kevin Kouzmanoff between them should provide a major upgrade on both sides of the ledger, and Casey Blake can always provide a short-term fix if need be.