From John Fay’s blog:
Rob Butcher sent this out in order to clarify the option rule. Guess there’s been talk aobut optioning Eric Milton. You can’t do it:
PLAYER OPTIONS: Players in camp on the 40-man roster with minor league options remaining include pitchers Matt Belisle, Bill Bray, Jared Burton, Todd Coffey, Rheal Cormier, Jon Coutlangus, Aaron Harang, Bobby Livingston, Kyle Lohse, Gary Majewski, Eric Milton, Elizardo Ramirez, Kirk Saarloos and Mike Stanton; infielders Edwin Encarnacion, Jerry Gil, Alex Gonzalez and Jeff Keppinger; and outfielders Jeff Conine, Chris Denorfia, Adam Dunn, Ken Griffey Jr., Josh Hamilton and Norris Hopper. Any player with more than 5 years of Major League service must accept an option (Cormier, Lohse, Milton, Stanton, Conine, Dunn, Griffey). As Rule 5 draftees, Hamilton and Burton can’t be optioned until they first clear outright waivers, then they must be offered back to their original teams (Devil Rays and Athletics, respectively). Only if their original teams refuse to take them back can the Reds option or outright them.
I think, based on what Jerry Narron said yesterday, that Milton will be slid into the fifth starter spot.
In other words, anyone that you’d really like to option, you can’t.