Non-tender candidates for each team
Editor’s update: Back in October, we published a list of players who we thought were good candidates to be either non-tendered, DFA’d, or have their options declined. Now that the non-tender deadline has passed, how does that list look?
At first glance, we got a lot right. We nailed the Twins’ two non-tenders (Cron and Hildenberger), and were right on significant decisions by the A’s (Profar, Phegley, Buchter), Mariners (Domingo Santana, Ryon Healy, Keon Broxton, Tim Beckham), Astros (Aaron Sanchez), Brewers (Jimmy Nelson, Eric Thames), Braves (Julio Teheran), Diamondbacks (Steven Souza), Giants (Pillar), Indians (Cole, Salazar), Phillies (Maikel Franco, Cesar Hernandez, Jason Vargas), Rays (Milner), Red Sox (Johnson, Leon, Wright), and Reds (Gausman, Dietrich).
For five teams, we got all of them right: Braves, Mariners, Rays, Rockies, and Twins. For a few more, we got most of them right: Angels, A’s, Brewers, Cardinals, Cubs, Giants, Padres, Phillies, Pirates, and Reds. For the others, we got some right. The notable misses seemed mostly with the rebuilding teams, which makes sense, considering they have more room to keep marginal players — and in cases like the Orioles, Royals, and Tigers, they still need a lot of warm bodies.
We should also note that there were many other players not on these lists whose trade value was marginal — quite often less than 1.0 — who were either DFA’d or traded for a low return, including Jesus Aguilar, Travis Jankowski, and Jonathan Villar. We view those as modest successes as well.
Now that we’ve updated our values for the year, we noticed that many established major leaguers who are in their control years (and a few whose teams have contract options on them) are projected to have negative values – in other words, their field value figures to be less than their salary. And for many teams, that means they are likely to be non-tendered, or have their options declined.
Granted, not all of these cases are clear. Some contending teams may be just fine sticking with a player who projects to have enough field value to help the team win, even if he costs a bit more than he should. (These are mostly contract-option situations, like Eric Thames in Milwaukee, Julio Teheran in Atlanta, or Yan Gomes in Washington.)
Others may be cases where the salary is still relatively low, so even if the player underperforms it (and presuming he provides some value either on the field or, intangibly, in the clubhouse), he might be worth keeping around just for continuity (like Josh Phegley in Oakland). This is especially true for marginal players – backup catchers, utility infielders, fourth outfielders, and middle relievers – and even more so if they have minor-league options remaining.
But most teams today are highly conscious of value – no one likes to waste money that could otherwise be spent more productively. So a large majority of players on this list are unlikely to be tendered a contract for 2020; many will then be cut loose by their teams and free to sign deals elsewhere if offered.
Here’s our list of projected 2020 non-tender candidates for each team:
Probably no surprises here.
Luke Bard, RHRP
Justin Bour, 1B/DH (Outrighted 10/28/19)
Kaleb Cowart, UTIL (Outrighted 10/28/19)
Luis Garcia, RHRP (Outrighted 10/28/19)
Kevan Smith, C (Non-tendered 12/2/19)
Nick Tropeano, SP (Outrighted 10/28/19)
Biagini and Sanchez were acquired in trade at the 2019 deadline, but Sanchez is hurt yet again and Biagini was not terribly effective. Chris Devenski has also seen better days.
Joe Biagini, RHRP
Chris Devenski, RHRP
Jake Marisnick, OF (Traded 12/11/19)
Aaron Sanchez, SP (Non-tendered 12/2/19)
Profar has been a major disappointment, after the A’s acquired him in a (what was for them) significant trade; the other three have also underwhelmed.
Ryan Buchter, LHRP (Non-tendered 12/2/19)
Robbie Grossman, OF
Josh Phegley, C (Non-tendered 12/2/19)
Jurickson Profar, 2B/OF (Traded 12/2/19)
The inclusion of Tepera here may surprise some, but he’s getting expensive and he was ineffective after his return from injury. Stewart is looking like a waiver-wire journeyman at this point.
Brandon Drury, 3B/2B
Ryan Dull, RHRP (DFA’d 10/29/19)
Thomas Pannone, LHRP
Justin Shafer, RHRP (Traded for cash, 11/25/19)
Matt Shoemaker, SP
Brock Stewart, RHRP (outrighted 10/31/19)
Ryan Tepera, RHRP (DFA’d 11/4/19)
We’ve included Hamilton and Teheran here to note that their contract options should not be picked up based on pure valuation, as both are underwater.
Charlie Culberson, UTIL (Non-tendered, 12/2/19)
Billy Hamilton, OF* (option declined 10/31/19)
John Ryan Murphy, C (Non-tendered, 12/2/19)
Julio Teheran, SP* (option declined 11/4/19)
The big surprise names here are Nelson and Arcia, and we’ve included Thames to note that his option may not be picked up.
Chase Anderson, SP (traded 11/4/19)
Orlando Arcia, SS
Tyler Austin, 1B (outrighted 11/1/19)
Jake Faria, RHRP
Junior Guerra, RHRP (Non-tendered, 12/2/19)
Jimmy Nelson, SP (Non-tendered, 12/2/19)
Tyler Saladino, UTIL (Non-tendered, 12/2/19)
Cory Spangenberg, UTIL (outrighted 11/1/19)
Eric Thames, 1B* (option declined 11/4/19)
Dominic Leone, RHRP (Released 11/25/19)
Mike Mayers, RHRP (DFA’d 11/1/19)
Rangel Ravelo, 1B
Tony Barnette, RHRP (option declined on 11/4/19)
David Phelps, RHRP (option declined on 11/4/19)
Allen Webster, RHRP
The big surprises here are Lamb and Souza, both of whom have been derailed by injuries.
Stefan Chrichton, RHRP
Caleb Joseph, C (Non-tendered, 12/2/19)
Jake Lamb, 1B
Steven Souza, OF (Non-tendered, 12/2/19)
Alexander and Garcia have shown flashes, but have largely underwhelmed.
Scott Alexander, LHRP
Yimi Garcia, RHRP (Non-tendered, 12/2/19)
Kristopher Negron, UTIL (Retired)
Casey Sadler, RHRP
Tyler White, 1B
The Giants may choose to keep Pillar just to fill the CF hole; maybe they don’t care that he’s underwater. Ditto for Barraclough.
Kyle Barraclough, RHRP (DFA’d 10/30/19)
Ryder Jones, 3B (released 11/7/19)
Wandy Peralta, LHRP
Kevin Pillar, OF (Non-tendered, 12/2/19)
Joey Rickard, OF (Non-tendered, 12/2/19)
Burch Smith, RHRP
It would appear time to move on from Salazar and Cole, among others.
A.J. Cole, RHRP (outrighted 11/4/19)
Mike Freeman, UTIL (DFA’d 12/16/19)
Phil Maton, RHRP
Tyler Olson, LHRP (outrighted 11/4/19)
Adam Plutko, SP
Jefry Rodriguez, SP
Danny Salazar, SP (outrighted 11/4/19)
Santana and Healy have both fallen off a cliff, as has LeBlanc, who is included here because his option should not be picked up.
Tim Beckham, SS (Non-tendered, 12/2/19)
Chasen Bradford, RHRP (outrighted 10/28/19)
Keon Broxton, OF (released 10/29/19)
Ryon Healy, 1B (outrighted 10/28/19)
Wade LeBlanc, SP* (option declined 10/31/19)
Connor Sadzeck, RHRP (outrighted 10/28/19)
Domingo Santana, OF (Non-tendered, 12/2/19)
Matt Wisler, RHRP (waived and claimed by the Twins 10/28/19)
Conley once had some trade value; not anymore.
Adam Conley, LHRP
Tayron Guerrero, RHRP (Non-tendered, 12/2/19)
Tyler Kinley, RHRP
My goodness, the Mets sure have a bunch of underwhelming right-handed relievers. Time for a fire sale! Throwing in Panik as a bonus.
Tyler Bashlor, RHRP
Chris Flexen, RHRP (DFA’d 12/6/19)
Donnie Hart, RHRP (outrighted 11/1/19)
Corey Oswalt, SP
Joe Panik, 2B (outrighted 11/1/19)
Paul Sewald, RHRP
We’ve included Gomes here only because we think his contract option should not be picked up, and Taylor isn’t worth his salary either.
Wilmer Difo, UTIL
Roenis Elias, LHRP
Sam Freeman, LHRP (released 11/7/19)
Yan Gomes, C* (Option declined 11/2/19)
Javy Guerra, RHRP (Non-tendered, 12/2/19)
Adrian Sanchez, UTIL
Hunter Strickland, RHRP
Michael A. Taylor, OF
Well, I suppose the O’s are going to need to keep some of these guys just so they have some warm bodies to put out there.
Shawn Armstrong, RHRP
Richard Bleier, LHRP
Aaron Brooks, SP (Released 11/12/19)
Miguel Castro, RHRP
David Hess, SP
Branden Kline, RHRP
Dwight Smith, Jr., OF
Stevie Wilkerson, OF
Asher Wocjiechowski, SP
Austin Wynns, C
Gabriel Ynoa, RHRP (released 11/7/19)
Poor Carl Edwards has seen better days.
Carl Edwards, Jr., RHRP (outrighted 11/4/19)
Brett Kennedy, SP (outrighted 10/31/19)
Aaron Loup, LHRP (option declined 10/31/19)
Luis Torrens, C
Half of the Phillies’ infield regulars are here; both are expensive disappointments now. Vargas’ contract option should also not be picked up; and the Nick Williams era appears to have finally run its course.
Jose Alvarez, LHRP
Maikel Franco, 3B (Non-tendered, 12/2/19)
Cesar Hernandez, 2B (Non-tendered, 12/2/19)
Andrew Knapp, C
Blake Parker, RHRP (outrighted 11/4/19)
Jose Pirela, 2B (released 11/1/19)
Edubray Ramos, RHRP (outrighted 11/4/19)
Jason Vargas, SP* (option declined 11/4/19)
Nick Williams, OF
We’re only including Archer here to indicate that his contract option should not be picked up, if we’re acting rationally.
Chris Archer, SP*
Elias Diaz, C (Non-tendered, 12/2/19)
Geoff Hartlieb, RHRP
Parker Markel, RHRP (traded on 10/31/19)
Alex McRae, RHRP (Outrighted 11/4/19)
Yefry Ramirez, RHRP (released 11/7/19)
Yacksel Rios, RHRP
Chris Stratton, RHRP
Time to bid adieu to the Nomar Mazara era – he’s just never produced, and now he’s getting pricey.
Jesse Biddle, LHRP (outrighted 10/31/19)
Ariel Jurado, SP
Isiah Kiner-Falefa, C
Nomar Mazara, OF (Traded 12/11/19)
Adrian Sampson, SP (Released 11/20/19)
Jeffrey Springs, LHRP (DFA’d 12/2/19)
Hoby Milner, LHRP (outrighted 10/31/19)
Brasier and Hembree helped the team win the World Series in 2018. Nothing much left here now.
Ryan Brasier, RHRP
Heath Hembree, RHRP
Brian Johnson, LHRP (Outrighted 11/27/19)
Sandy Leon, C (Traded 12/2/19)
Hector Velazquez, RHRP
Ryan Weber, RHRP
Steven Wright, SP (update: released on 10/18)
After getting off to a torrid start, Dietrich fell off a cliff and will likely be looking at another non-tender. Gausman was already cut loose once.
Derek Dietrich, 1B (outrighted 11/4/19)
Kyle Farmer, C
Kevin Gausman, RHRP/SP (Non-tendered 12/2/19)
Sal Romano, SP
Jackson Stephens, RHRP (outrighted 11/4/19)
Chad Bettis, SP (outrighted on 10/30/19)
D.J. Johnson, RHRP (update: released on 10/23/19)
Wes Parsons, RHRP (DFA’d on 11/27/19)
Pat Valaika, UTIL (DFA’d on 10/29/19)
Fun fact: Fillmyer and Hahn were traded from the A’s for Ryan Buchter, and now all of them are non-tender candidates.
Humberto Arteaga, UTIL (Non-tendered 12/2/19)
Jacob Barnes, RHRP (DFA’d on 11/4/19)
Heath Fillmyer, RHRP
Jesse Hahn, SP (Non-tendered 12/2/19)
Jorge Lopez, SP
Kevin McCarthy, RHRP
Mike Montgomery, SP
Jake Newberry, RHRP
Ryan O’Hearn, 1B
Glenn Sparkman, SP
Meibrys Viloria, C
Harold Castro, 2B
Jose Cisnero, RHRP
Brandon Dixon, 1B/OF
Grayson Greiner, C
John Hicks, C/1B (DFA’d on 10/24/19)
Zac Reininger, RHRP (outrighted as of 10/23/19)
Ronny Rodriguez, UTIL (waived 12/9/19)
Daniel Stumpf, RHRP (DFA’d on 10/24/129)
Drew VerHagen, RHRP (Released 11/25/19)
Poor C.J. Cron looks like he’s facing a non-tender situation yet again.
C.J. Cron, 1B (Non-tendered 12/2/19)
Trevor Hildenberger, RHRP (Non-tendered 12/2/19)
We’ve included Colome here to note that his contract option should not be picked up, although it probably will be.
Manny Banuelos, SP
Alex Colome, RHRP*
Ryan Cordell, OF (released 11/7/19)
Jimmy Cordero, RHRP
Dylan Covey, SP
Carson Fulmer, SP
Leury Garcia, UTIL
Evan Marshall, RHRP
Josh Osich, LHRP (DFA’d 10/31/19)
Daniel Palka, OF (Outrighted 11/25/19)
Jose Ruiz, RHRP
One former top prospect is at risk here.
Chance Adams, RHRP (DFA/d 12/18/19 to make room for Gerrit Cole)
Nestor Cortes, Jr., LHRP (Traded 11/25/19)