Non-tender Candidates from Each Team

Every year around this time, we comb through our numbers and see which players on each team may be non-tender candidates (that is, players who won’t be offered contracts for next season). We do this largely by scanning our model for players with zero surplus value. 

Sometimes this is the result of poor performance; in other cases, it’s that the value of the player’s projected performance is less than what he’s estimated to earn in salary – in other words, he’s worth less than he’s likely owed. In recent years, players who fit this profile have been non-tendered more often than not.

Most of these players are in – or are about to be in – their arbitration years, which means they’re getting expensive. In some cases, we’ve included pre-arb players whose performance is weak enough to warrant inclusion on this list, particularly if they’re running low on options, as is the case with former top prospects like Jo Adell, Jose Barrero, Carter Kieboom, and Cristian Pache.

Significant names are in bold.

Angels: Jo Adell, Jack Mayfield, Touki Toussaint, Andrew Velazquez, Chad Wallach, Jared Walsh

The Angels will probably give Adell at least one more shot to see if he can perform at the MLB level, but it’s not looking good. Walsh’s negative-WAR year has tanked his value and put his roster spot in jeopardy, especially now that he’s in his arb years.

Astros: Brandon Bielak, Josh James, Phil Maton, Enoli Paredes, Blake Taylor

James has immense talent, but cannot stay healthy, has put up -0.3 fWAR total in the past three years, and is no longer cheap. Maton had a dreadful year, and although he may be tendered, there’s no value there.

Athletics: Deolis Guerra, Vimael Machin, Cristian Pache, Joel Payamps, Sam Selman

It’s do-or-die time for Pache, who is now out of options. If he is tendered, he’s likely to be DFA’d at some point next year unless he somehow finds a way to hit.

Blue Jays: Jose De Leon, Thomas Hatch, Anthony Kay, Julian Merryweather, Trevor Richards, Raimel Tapia, Trent Thornton, Bradley Zimmer

Richards is getting too expensive relative to what he brings – he’s replaceable for less money. Ditto Tapia. And Merryweather can’t stay healthy.

Braves: Guillermo Heredia, Jackson Stephens

Perhaps it’s a mark of a well-run organization that there are no surprises here.

Brewers: Matt Bush, Trevor Gott, Jandel Gustave, Keston Hiura, Alex Jackson, Luis Perdomo, Hunter Renfroe, Pablo Reyes, Brent Suter, Rowdy Tellez

Lots of surprises here, however. Bush turned into a pumpkin after Milwaukee traded for him at the deadline. He’s out of options, and he’ll be 37 next year. Hiura has been on this list before, and even if you think he improved this year, he still only put up 0.8 fWAR, has no defensive value, and is out of options. Renfroe is fine, just too expensive now, at an estimated $11.2M, for what he brings to the table. Suter and Tellez both fell off this year, and are also now relatively expensive.

Cardinals: Austin Allen, Andrew Knizner, Jojo Romero, Chris Stratton, Kodi Whitley

Nothing to see here, although it’s somewhat notable that Knizner has had an open runway to take the starting catcher job, but has never quite seized it. He’s a backup at best. Stratton has had his moments, but he’s getting expensive and is out of options.

Cubs: Alec Mills, Franmil Reyes, Rowan Wick

Wick’s peripherals were awful this year, and Mills had a nightmare year.

Diamondbacks: Jordan Luplow, Corbin Martin, Keynan Middleton, Reyes Moronta, Sean Poppen, Caleb Smith, Pavin Smith, Taylor Widener

Martin is a former top prospect who’s never stayed healthy or put things together. Caleb Smith was once a hot enough commodity to be the key return in a Starling Marte trade, but has fallen off dramatically since. Pavin Smith had some initial prospect value, but has been a replacement-level player since he came up.

Dodgers: Cody Bellinger, Beau Burrows, Edwin Rios

Unfortunately for Bellinger, the jig is up. The Dodgers tendered him last year when they probably shouldn’t have, but there’s no way they’re going to pay $18M+ for a guy who hit .210 this year and .165 last year. He’s clearly not the same player he was prior to his injuries.

Giants: Austin Dean, Jarlin Garcia, Jakob Junis, Zack Littell, Alex Young

Junis was okay-ish as a back-end starter, but he’s getting expensive, and is out of options. Littell is coming off a negative-WAR year, is out of options, and had a kerfuffle with his manager to boot. Buh-bye.

Guardians: (none)

Maybe the fact that Cleveland promoted at least a dozen rookies this year has something to do with it.

Mariners: Ryan Borucki, Sam Haggerty, Justus Sheffield, Drew Steckenrider, Abraham Toro, Luis Torrens

Sheffield was the centerpiece of the James Paxton trade a few years ago, but has gone from starting-pitching prospect to failed starter to reliever to failed reliever, and is now arb-eligible. Toro and Torrens combined for -1 fWAR and are both out of options.

Marlins: Brian Anderson, Elieser Hernandez, Jordan Holloway, Nick Neidert, Tanner Scott, Jacob Stallings, Cole Sulser, Joey Wendle

My goodness, Miami. This is brutal. Most of the guys on this list have had some degree of success, but a confluence of factors have put them here. Anderson, once the star of the team, has declined to a replacement-level player who’s owed over $5M in arbitration. He’s unlikely to get that after two consecutive below-average years. Hernandez’s peripherals have never been good, and his -0.9 fWAR this year reflected that. Scott’s WPA was -1.89, and now he’s set to make $2.7M. Sulser’s peripherals are ugly, and he too is due for a raise. Wendle is coming off a below-average season, and he’s just getting too expensive for what he brings, as he’s estimated to make $5.4M in arbitration assuming the Marlins decline a $6.3M mutual option. Stallings put up -0.6 fWAR, is out of options, and is projected to make $3.3M. Miami gave up a fair amount of prospect capital to acquire all four of Scott, Stallings, Sulser and Wendle in trade, and now all four have zero’d out in value.

Mets: Yoan Lopez, Dominic Smith, Drew Smith

Dominic Smith was on this list last year. The Mets should have listened to us and non-tendered him. Instead they wasted $4M on a guy who hit .194 and 33% below league-average. There’s no way they tender him now.

Nationals: Paolo Espino, Erick Fedde, Carter Kieboom, Victor Robles, Ildemaro Vargas, Luke Voit, Jordan Weems

Kieboom has put up -2.1 fWAR in his young career, and hit 37% below average. He just burned his last option year, so it may be time to call it. Robles has put up a total of 0 WAR over his last three years, and is now owed $2.5M. Time to call that one too. And no one is paying $8.2M for Voit’s replacement-level production.

Orioles: Anthony Bemboom, Cam Gallagher, Aramis Garcia

Nothing to see here, folks.

Padres: Austin Adams, Jorge Alfaro

Alfaro has long been an A.J. Preller favorite, but you may have noticed he hasn’t gotten much playing time lately. He’s a replacement-level backup due to make $3.6M.

Phillies: Sam Coonrod, Yairo Munoz, Garrett Stubbs

Lots of positives in Phillies Land these days.

Pirates: Miguel Andujar, Wil Crowe, Junior Fernandez, Tyler Heineman, Kevin Newman, Robert Stephenson, Duane Underwood, Jr., Bryse Wilson

Most of these guys are just fodder the Pirates have picked up in the hopes of getting lucky. Hasn’t quite worked out. Crowe has had his moments as a reliever, but the wheels fell off in the second half of this year. And Wilson had potential, but has never lived up to it. Andujar should have been non-tendered last year.

Rangers: Kolby Allard, Taylor Hearn, Spencer Howard, Brett Martin, Dennis Santana, Jesus Tinoco

This is a case of weak pitching meeting business realities. Former top prospect Howard just burned through his last option year with -0.7 fWAR. Hearn put up 0.9 fWAR, but with poor peripherals, and now stands to make $1.7M. He’s a likely journeyman. You can get the meager production all these guys bring for a lot less than they’re projected to make.

Rays: Shawn Armstrong, Yonny Chirinos, Ji-Man Choi, Francisco Mejia, Luis Patino, Colin Poche, Roman Quinn, Luke Raley, Ryan Yarbrough

Armstrong’s track record is too spotty to justify his arb salary. Chirinos has pitched all of 18 innings in the last three years. Mejia is getting too expensive to be the backup catcher he now clearly is. Patino is a mess, and has just burned through his last option. Tampa is not going to pay Yarbrough $4.2M to throw 87. Choi's value has gone negative. His time with Tampa is over.

Reds: Jose Barrero, Luis Cessa, Buck Farmer, Kyle Farmer, Jeff Hoffman, Nick Senzel

Barrero is another failed prospect who has put up -1.6 fWAR for his career, and has burned his last option. Senzel is now clearly a bust as well. Kyle Farmer, god love him, is due to make $5.9M. He’s a journeyman, folks. Nobody’s going to pay him that.

Red Sox: Ryan Brasier, Franchy Cordero, Tyler Danish, Darwinzon Hernandez

Wait, wasn’t Brasier good this year? A little. But his WPA was -1.49, and that’s not good. The Sox can find better production at a cheaper cost. Hopes were once high for Darwinzon, but he’s been a mess for the last three years.

Rockies: Garrett Hampson, Sam Hilliard, Dinelson Lamet, Dom Nunez

Wait, wasn’t Lamet good again too? That was a blip, folks. He put up 0.2 fWAR, has nagging arm issues, and is due to make $4.8M. Not gonna happen. Then again, it’s the Rockies, so they may just keep all these guys.

Royals: Carlos Hernandez, Brad Keller, Anthony Misiewicz, Ryan O’Hearn, Luke Weaver

Keller’s smoke-and-mirrors act can only go so far, apparently, as he put up a replacement-level year and is now owed $7M. The new baseball ops guy is too smart for that. Time to cut the other chaff, too.

Tigers: Harold Castro, Jose Cisnero, Miguel Diaz, Rony Garcia, Bryan Garcia, Austin Meadows, Victor Reyes

I suspect it was the Meadows trade that was the final nail in the coffin for former GM Al Avila. Meadows delivered -0.2 fWAR and is now due $4M. Time to cut bait here, too.

Twins: Kyle Garlick, Emilio Pagan

Pagan hasn’t been good since 2019. Why the Twins traded for him is beyond me – he was on this list last year, and they then paid him $2.3M to deliver another negative-WAR season. His WPA was also deeply in the red. They’re certainly not going to give him a raise to $3.7M now.

White Sox: Kyle Crick, Adam Engel, Adam Haseley, Danny Mendick, Mark Payton, Jose Ruiz

Longtime defensive replacement Engel was paid $2M to deliver a negative-WAR year, and is now due for a raise. He gone.

Yankees: Isiah Kiner-Falefa, Tim Locastro, Lou Trivino

The fact that the Yankees benched IKF for a rookie in a do-or-die playoff game is a clear sign that the team is done with him. He’s a replacement-level player due to make $6.5M, and that’s too rich even for the Yanks. Trivino is serviceable yet inconsistent, and is now due $4.2M. On paper, that’s an overpay, but they may have to bite the bullet to keep some semblance of their bullpen intact.

Other borderline cases

There are a few other players we could add to this list, who have very small surplus-value numbers. These include:

  • Miguel Aguilar, Diamondbacks
  • Jorge Alcala, Twins
  • Tyler Alexander, Tigers
  • Aristides Aquino, Reds
  • Victor Arano, Nationals
  • Steven Brault, Cubs
  • Genesis Cabrera, Cardinals
  • Jeimer Candelario, Tigers
  • Victor Caratini, Brewers
  • Amir Garrett, Royals
  • Tyler Matzek, Braves
  • Tim Mayza, Blue Jays
  • Gio Urshela, Twins
  • Austin Voth, Orioles
  • Lamonte Wade, Giants
  • Brad Wieck, Cubs

Don’t be surprised if your team non-tenders any of the above.

About the Author


Haven't looked into the numbers much, but as a padres fan I would love to see guys like Alcala, mayza, Trevino, Patino, Cabrera, James or Maton as bullpen depth. Also someone like Walsh, voit renfroe or meadows would be a good pick up. If someone could get voit and Walsh that's both sides of a dh platoon for pretty cheap.

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Love the write-up here!

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The Rays always zig when most expect them to zag, so take any prognostications with a grain of salt with them (including mine). I’m expecting them to retain Armstrong, who pitched well down the stretch in 2022, Chirinos, who the Rays have paid for nearly 3 years while he rehabbed various injuries and who pitched well for them in 2022 in his brief outings (and is now finally healthy), and Patino, who is still crazy young and might still develop (and will make league minimum). Mejia will be an interesting decision because while he is just a backup, his 2022 was negatively impacted by a Covid infection (ie: he’s a well above average backup). Poche is the one name I feel strongest about - he’s getting tendered. While he absolutely sucked in 2022, Rays kept trotting him out in high leverage situations. They believe in him. Most of us fans strongly disagree with the Rays, but it doesn’t matter what we think. They like him. Guys not on the BTV list I could see getting nontendered include Anderson, Kittredge, McKay, Yacabonis, and Madris. Some will be traded and I’m hoping guys like McKay and Anderson are brought back on minor league contracts.


This is good and all, but the Rays have to clear a bunch of spaces. After adding the injured players back to the 40-man, they have several spots to clear to get down to 40, and then they have to protect prospects. Jones, Mead, Edwards, to name just 3. Most of the guys Jon listed are likely gone.

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No doubt. Rays have a lengthy list of top prospects who are Rule 5 eligible this year. That said, I expect them to do what they always do and that's protect around 5 prospects. They also have to add back 4-5 guys from the 60 day, which I expect will be Feyer, Baz, B.Lowe, and Kittredge and/or Thompson. That means they need to free up 9-10 spots from the current 40 man, which they can do easily enough. That also means they'll leave several top prospects exposed to the Rule 5 draft if they can't trade them. Mead and Bradley are for sure getting protected. Rays seem to like Edwards and I expect him to be protected too (a decision I strongly disagree with by the way). Jones... not so much. I think they leave him exposed. He finished 2022 in AA and he had a bad season. Not a strong candidate to get drafted, but you never know. Basabe... I like more than Jones but do the Rays? What about Wisely, Simon, Misner, Shenton, Hernandez, etc...? And that's just the position players. Ultimately, the Rays' 40 man will consist of about 20 position players and 20 pitchers on December 1st. Rays don't need 15 middle infielders, even if their prospect hoarding says otherwise. It's shit or get off the pot time. Rays didn't clean up their glut of middle infielders last year and now their hand is being forced. I just hope they don't make the type of mistake they've previously made (e.g., choosing 1 more year of Wendle over Cronenworth because of such exciting prospects coming down the pipe like Brujan and Walls). So yeah, I might be wrong and the Rays let a bunch of pitchers go this Winter who can help them win next year in favor of adding to their glut of middle infielders on the 40 man, but I suspect that if Edwards is added, that Mastrobuoni gets moved. If Basabe gets added, then Brujan or Walls gets moved. If Jones gets added, then the survivor of Brujan/Walls gets moved. Etc... Rays can't field an all middle-infielder team after all.

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Ms. Dajuba

I think every team is in the same boat. Every team has a long list of Rule 5 eligible guys that had good 2022s & have promising tools and players that had bad years but still have good tools. Every team needs to clear out the 40 man log jam some and leave good prospects exposed and let major league talent walk. The Red Sox are certainly in this same boat.

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No team wants to lose a prospect they like for nothing, but not every team has a deep and talented system. I don't know the Red Sox system well enough to weigh in on their 40 man problem, but my suspicion is that it really ain't that bad. The Rays (who I follow) are drowning in top 30 prospects who they can't hope to protect this year, but I'm confident they will trade a few before the draft to at least get 50 cents on the dollar in trade value over losing 3-5 guys for nothing. In the end, the Rays will lose 1-2 players as normal, and the Rule 5 draft will have forced the Rays to move some of their prospects to teams where they will have better opportunities for playing time. It's why the system exists.


I think that overall teams are deeper than they have been or at least have guys they haven't decided on yet due to the lost year of prospect development and not having a rule 5 draft last year. At this point in development, more guys would have been given the "bust" label and a team would have moved on. I get the feeling that some organizations are giving guys the benefit of the doubt with the tools and still hope they figure it out. That coupled with really deep teams like the Rays, Cle, Os, and D-Back should make for an interesting winter of roster moves.


Unless there is a serious injury or issue with Austin Meadows, I don't see the Tigers non-tendering him. They just don't have other OF options that are better. Likely Reyes will be nontendered before Meadows and maybe Willi Castro as well.


I'll be very surprised if the Dodgers non-tender Austin Barnes (and so will he) since they signed him to a 2-year, 7 mil extension in July.

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Good point. Thanks for that catch. Fixed.


I thank you.....................and so does Austin. :) Now Bellinger wishes you'd take him off the list also, but I'm afraid Cody's time in L.A. may be up. I think a change of scenery would probably be good for both player and team.


I can't see Wil Crowe being non-tendered, he will get another shot, especially since he is pre-Arb. Andujar will also be in Pittsburgh for $1.7 mil. I hope you are wrong with Kevin Newman - he is solid and fills a much needed depth role.


There's no good or even meh reason why pre-arb Sam Haggerty is on this list for the Mariners. The guy was indispensable during the Mariners' hot summer stretch (35-14 in games he started) ; he posted 2.2 bWAR in 201 plate appearances, was a menace on the base paths, and played elite defense. He was sorely missed in the playoffs, and could have made the difference in any of the three close games in the ALDS against Houston. He's a lock for the Opening Day roster as a switch-hitting platoon option in the corner OF, defensive replacement, pinch hitter and pinch runner.


Nats will definitely pay for Voit. They dont have any other internal options and new ownership wont be in place in time to spend on a decent DH. Espino is good out of the pen. Worth keeping as a long man. Rizzo wont give up on Kieboom. Not sure why he should, given that this team has no one worth talking about at third.


I think the Reds give Barrero 1 more chance, I think he has to be on the 40 man, but not the roster yet (I could be wrong) . He is 24, and a change in the hitting coach may help. The Reds will at least keep him through the pre-season. I think Hoffman stays, but Nick may go, I also think they have to look at Moose as a non-tender. Not worth a roster spot. Adell is a change of Scenery candidate.

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Prediction: Cubs sign Bellinger. He becomes the new Jackson Frazier. Changes first name to Clint mid-season. Still can’t hit. I think Senzel, Alfaro and Pavin Smith make sense for Chicago. That’s about it off this list.