D-backs decline OF Kole Calhoun’s 2022 option, exercise RHP Merrill Kelly

Nov 4, 2021, 3:19 PM

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - APRIL 09:  Kole Calhoun #56 of the Arizona Diamondbacks runs to first base again...

PHOENIX, ARIZONA - APRIL 09: Kole Calhoun #56 of the Arizona Diamondbacks runs to first base against the Cincinnati Reds during the MLB game at Chase Field on April 09, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. The Reds defeated the Diamondbacks 6-5 in 10 innings. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

The Arizona Diamondbacks have officially declined veteran outfielder Kole Calhoun’s $9 million club option for the 2022 season, the team announced Thursday.

After two seasons in the Valley, Calhoun is a free agent.

His option involves a $2 million buyout, via Spotrac.

Calhoun signed with Arizona ahead of the 2020 season following eight campaigns with the Los Angeles Angels.

He reached career-highs in OPS and slugging percentage with a .226/.338/.526 slash line during the shortened 2020 season. He played in 54 of 60 games.

This past year was marred by injuries as Calhoun played in just 51 of 162 games. His OPS dropped from .864 to .670, and he hit five home runs after belting 16 in three more games in 2020.

Calhoun, 34, was born in Tempe, attended Buckeye Union High School and played college baseball for Arizona State.

The D-backs also declined pitcher Tyler Clippard’s mutual option for 2022.

Clippard had a 3.20 ERA in 25.1 innings out of the pen last year.

Arizona will, however, exercise starting pitcher Merrill Kelly’s $5.25 million club option.

The 33-year-old right-hander owned a 4.44 ERA in 27 starts last season.

Kelly also played high school ball in the Valley at Desert Mountain High School and then attended ASU. He and Calhoun were teammates in college.

He first reached the big leagues in 2019 at 30 years old.

Kelly signed a two-year contract in December of 2018 which included two club options. He previously pitched in the Korea Baseball Organization.

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D-backs decline OF Kole Calhoun’s 2022 option, exercise RHP Merrill Kelly