Non-tender Candidates for Every Team

Trades

Players

  Now that the offseason is upon us, one of the first orders of business for each team is to determine who to keep — or more importantly, who not to keep. This is because each team needs to make room on their 40-man rosters, either for positional improvements, to protect eligible prospects from the upcoming Rule 5 draft, or both. 

So which veterans are at risk? Based on our modeling, we have a pretty good idea. We took a look at current players whose trade values are at or below zero — that is, players who may not be worth what they cost. This excerpt from the MLB website explains it further:

In many instances, a club will non-tender a player because it feels the raise he will receive in arbitration would be greater than his on-field value. In other cases, a club will non-tender a player simply to clear a spot on the 40-man roster — even if that player isn’t due much more than the league minimum the following season.

As an added bonus, we’ve included candidates with contract options that are likely to be declined, as well as bubble cases — players who may not have negative value, but who are close enough to it that the team may want to move on if they have other options.

With that criteria in mind, here’s the list, with a few notes where warranted (notable names in bold):

Angels: 

  • Non-tender candidates: Phil Gosselin, Jimmy Herget, Sam Selman, Chad Wallach [outrighted 11/19], Keon Wong [DFA’d 11/22]
  • Non-tender bubble case: Luis Rengifo

Astros:

  • Non-tender candidates: Brandon Bielak, Kent Emmanuel [waived 11/19], Taylor Jones, Rafael Montero, Enoli Paredes, Blake Taylor
  • Non-tender bubble case: Aledmys Diaz

Note: Even though Diaz’s contract ran only through 2021, he actually has one more year of arbitration eligibility.

Athletics:

  • Option declines: Andrew Chafin, Jake Diekman [option declined 11/4]
  • Non-tender candidates:  Austin Allen, Paul Blackburn, Skye Bolt, Adam Kolarek, Vimael Machin
  • Non-tender bubble case: Lou Trivino

Note: With the A’s expected to go into full rebuild mode, they may decide to keep some of these players because they’ll need to field a team. They’re all cheap enough.

Blue Jays:  

  • Non-tender candidates: Anthony Castro, Ross Stripling, Trent Thornton
  • Non-tender bubble case: Ryan Borucki

Braves:

  • Option decline: Josh Tomlin [option declined 11/6]
  • Non-tender candidates: Orlando Arcia, Johan Camargo, Grant Dayton [released 11/6], Adam Duvall, Terrance Gore [outrighted 11/6], Guillermo Heredia, Yoan Lopez, Sean Newcomb, Touki Toussaint, Chadwick Tromp, Jacob Webb, Kyle Wright

Brewers:

  • Non-tender candidates: Jandel Gustave, Keston Hiura, Luke Maile [outrighted 11/5], Hoby Milner, Angel Perdomo, Pablo Reyes, Miguel Sanchez, Eric Yardley [outrighted 11/5]
  • Non-tender bubble cases: Dan Vogelbach, John Curtiss

Note: Hiura does not appear to have any trade value left, so if the Brewers decide to move on from him, he’ll likely be a free agent.

Cardinals:

  • Option declines: Matt Carpenter [option declined 11/4], Carlos Martinez [option declined 11/4]
  • Non-tender candidates: Austin Dean [waived 11/5], Junior Fernandez, Andrew Knizner, Max Moroff [outrighted 11/5], Ljay Newsome, Alex Reyes, Brandon Waddell, Jake Woodford, Justin Williams [outrighted 11/5], T.J. Zeuch
  • Non-tender bubble case: Ryan Helsley

Note: Alex Reyes is the surprise here. His projections simply don’t meet his arbitration estimate.

Cubs:

Non-tender candidates: Jason Adam, Sergio Alcantara, Rex Brothers [outrighted 11/5], P.J. Higgins [outrighted 11/5], Jonathan Holder [outrighted 11/4], Dillon Maples, Nick Martini [outrighted 11/4], Manuel Rodriguez, Adrian Sampson [outrighted 11/5], Kohl Stewart [outrighted 11/4], Trayce Thompson [outrighted 11/4], Brad Wieck

Diamondbacks:

  • Option declines: Kole Calhoun [option declined 11/3], Tyler Clippard [option declined 11/4]
  • Non-tender candidates: Zach Burdi, Brett de Geus, Kevin Ginkel [outrighted 11/19], Matt Peacock, Sean Poppen, Caleb Smith, Riley Smith [outrighted 11/19], Josh VanMeter, Jordan Weems, Taylor Widener, Andrew Young

Dodgers:

  • Option decline: Joe Kelly [option declined 11/6]
  • Non-tender candidates: Scott Alexander [outrighted 11/5], Andy Burns [outrighted 11/5], Garrett Cleavinger, Billy McKinney [DFA’d 11/19], Sheldon Neuse, Evan Phillips, Luke Raley, Jimmie Sherfy [outrighted 11/5], Stephen Souza Jr., Brock Stewart
  • Non-tender bubble cases: Austin Barnes, Cody Bellinger

Note: It would appear that Bellinger has done just enough in the post-season to climb just over the line. Keep in mind that he’s still viewed as a high-upside player — our model projects him to be worth $17M in field value — but he’s very expensive, with an arb price of $16M. So while we think the Dodgers will retain him, it’s not an easy call.

Giants:

  • Option decline: Johnny Cueto [option declined 11/5]
  • Non-tender candidates: Tyler Beede, Curt Casali, Jaylin Davis, Alex Dickerson [DFA’d 11/22], Mauricio Dubon, Jason Vosler

Guardians:

  • Option decline: Roberto Perez [option declined 11/5]
  • Non-tender candidates: Logan Allen, Daniel Johnson [DFA’d 11/19], J.C. Mejia [DFA’d 11/19], Josh Naylor, Trevor Stephan, Nick Wittgren [outrighted 11/5], Alex Young [DFA’d 11/19], Bradley Zimmer
  • Non-tender bubble cases: Bobby Bradley, Yu Chang, Austin Hedges, Oscar Mercado

Note: The Guardians are facing a roster crunch, with multiple top prospects needing to be protected, so we expect a lot of activity here.

Mariners:

  • Option decline: Kyle Seager [option decline reported 10/31]
  • Non-tender candidates: Joey Gerber, Jose Godoy, Erik Swanson, Donovan Walton
  • Non-tender bubble cases: Nick Margevicius, Yohan Ramirez, Luis Torrens

Marlins:

  • Non-tender candidates: Jesus Aguilar, Jorge Alfaro, Lewis Brinson, Paul Campbell, Daniel Castano, Isan Diaz, Jordan Holloway, Steven Okert, Magneuris Sierra [outrighted 11/3]
  • Non-tender bubble cases: Monte Harrison, Jorge Guzman

Note: Sadly for Miami, the Christian Yelich trade was a complete bust, as Brinson, Diaz, Harrison and (since DFA’d) Yamamoto all have zero value.

Mets:

  • Option declines: Dellin Betances, Kevin Pillar [option declined 11/4]
  • Non-tender candidates: Miguel Castro, Yennsy Diaz, Robert Gsellman, Corey Oswalt [outrighted 10/29], Mark Payton, Jose Peraza [outrighted 10/29], Sean Reid-Foley, Drew Smith, Robert Stock [outrighted 10/29], Trevor Williams, Jordan Yamamoto

Nationals:

  • Non-tender candidates: Josh Bell, Sam Clay, Mike Ford, Ryne Harper, Andres Machado, Victor Robles, Josh Rogers, Andrew Stevenson, Wander Suero, Austin Voth
  • Non-tender bubble cases: Joe Ross, Tanner Rainey

Notes: Bell is just getting too expensive relative to his production. Robles’ fielding prowess is not enough to make up for his continued poor hitting, and we believe the Nats will move on from both.

Orioles:

  • Non-tender candidates: Nick Ciuffo [outrighted 11/5], Marcos Diplan [outrighted 11/3], Conner Greene [outrighted 11/3], Kelvin Gutierrez, Eric Hanhold [waived 11/3], Hunter Harvey [waived 11/5], Brooks Kriske, Richie Martin, Pedro Severino [outrighted 11/3], Spenser Watkins [outrighted 11/5]
  • Non-tender bubble case: Jorge Lopez

Padres:

  • Option decline: Jake Marisnick [option declined 11/5]
  • Non-tender candidates: Dan Altavilla, Shaun Anderson [waived 11/19], Miguel Diaz [outrighted 10/30], James Norwood, Brian O’Grady [outrighted 10/30], Emilio Pagan, Matt Strahm, Trey Wingenter
  • Notes: Both Pagan and Strahm (the latter due to health issues) have declined dramatically of late.

Phillies:

  • Option declines: Odubel Herrera [option declined 11/3], Andrew McCutchen 
  • [option declined 11/3]
  • Non-tender candidates: Travis Jankowski [outrighted 11/5], Andrew Knapp [outrighted 11/5], Jojo Romero, Ramon Rosso [outrighted 11/5], Ronald Torreyes [outrighted 11/5]
  • Non-tender bubble cases: Adam Haseley, Mickey Moniak

Pirates:

  • Non-tender candidates: Anthony Alford, Tanner Anderson, Anthony Banda, Michael Chavis, Wil Crowe, Enyel De Los Santos [outrighted 11/6], Wilmer Difo [outrighted 11/6], Phillip Evans, Sam Howard, Kyle Keller [outrighted 11/6], Chad Kuhl, Nick Mears, Colin Moran, Kevin Newman, Luis Oviedo, Michael Perez [DFA’d 11/19], Cody Ponce, Cole Tucker, Duane Underwood, Jr.
  • Non-tender bubble case: Jared Oliva, Dillon Peters

Note: It looks like it’s time for the Pirates to move on from Tucker.

Rangers:

  • Non-tender candidates: Drew Anderson [released 10/29], Wes Benjamin, Brock Burke, Willie Calhoun, Jharel Cotton [waived 11/5], Demarcus Evans, Ronald Guzman [outrighted 11/5], Dennis Santana
  • Non-tender bubble case: Joe Palumbo [waived 11/5]

Rays:

  • Non-tender candidates: Nick Anderson, D.J. Johnson [outrighted 11/5], Cody Reed [outrighted 11/5], Ryan Sherriff [waived 11/5], Jeffrey Springs
  • Note: It’s a testament to the Rays’ value-conscious philosophy that they have so few players who project to have negative or zero value. That said, they too have a roster crunch coming, so they’ll be active in the trade market beyond these cuts.

Red Sox:

  • Option declines: Martin Perez [option declined 11/7], Garrett Richards [option declined 11/7]
  • Player option decline: Kyle Schwarber
  • Non-tender candidates: Austin Davis, Darwinzon Hernandez, John Schreiber, Phillips Valdez

Reds:

  • Option declines: Tucker Barnhart [traded 11/3]
  • Option decline bubble case: Wade Miley [waived 11/5]
  • Player option decline: Nick Castellanos [option declined 11/4]
  • Non-tender candidates: Aristides Aquino, Alex Blandino [outrighted 11/4], Phillip Diehl, Carson Fulmer, Amir Garrett, Ryan Hendrix, Jeff Hoffman, Cionel Perez

Rockies:

  • Non-tender candidates: Daniel Bard, Carlos Estevez, Ashton Goudeau, Garrett Hampson, Raimel Tapia, Jesus Tinoco
  • Non-tender bubble case: Robert Stephenson
  • Note: Bard declined significantly in the second half of 2021, and he’s just getting too expensive. Tapia is out of options.

Royals:

  • Non-tender candidates: Hanser Alberto [outrighted 10/29], Richard Lovelady, Ryan O’Hearn, Emmanuel Rivera, Tyler Zuber
  • Non-tender bubble case: Jakob Junis [outrighted 11/5]

Tigers:

  • Non-tender candidates: Bryan Garcia, Rony Garcia, Grayson Greiner, Drew Hutchison [outrighted 11/5], Joe Jimenez
  • Non-tender bubble case: Niko Goodrum [cleared waivers 11/19]

Twins:

  • Option decline: Alex Colome [option declined 11/5]
  • Non-tender candidates: Willians Astudillo [DFA’d 11/19], Jake Cave [outrighted, re-signed 11/19], John Gant [outrighted 11/8], Kyle Garlick [outrighted 11/19], Juan Minaya, Rob Refsnyder [outrighted 11/5], Devin Smeltzer [outrighted 11/19], Lewis Thorpe
  • Non-tender bubble case: Cody Stashak

White Sox:

  • Option decline bubble cases: Cesar Hernandez [option declined 11/5], Craig Kimbrel
  • Non-tender candidates: Ryan Burr, Zack Collins, Jimmy Cordero [outrighted 11/5], Jace Fry [outrighted 11/5], Brian Goodwin [outrighted 11/5], Marco Hernandez, Reynaldo Lopez, Evan Marshall [outrighted 11/5], Jose Ruiz

Notes: It’s been reported that the White Sox are considering non-tendering Hernandez, whose WAR numbers might suggest otherwise. But most of that value comes from defense, and teams just don’t value 2B gloves anymore. Meanwhile, they reportedly want to tender and trade Kimbrel, whose value is barely above water, according to our model.

Yankees:

  • Option decline: Darren O’Day [option declined 11/4]
  • Option decline bubble case: Brett Gardner [player option declined 11/4]
  • Non-tender candidates: Albert Abreu, Greg Allen [waived 11/5], Miguel Andujar, Clint Frazier [DFA’d 11/19, released 11/23], Tim Locastro [waived 11/5], Nick Nelson [traded 11/19], Rougned Odor [DFA’d 11/19], Wandy Peralta, Gary Sanchez, Andrew Velazquez [waived 11/5]

Notes: It seems like this is the year the Yankees are finally going to move on from Andujar, Frazier, and Sanchez. None have trade value, according to our model. Sanchez, of course, has field value, but he’s just getting too expensive, even for the Yankees — he’s a $7M player due to make $8M. Odor is only owed league-minimum (the Rangers are paying down his contract), but he’s not worth even that.

About the Author

John Bitzer

John Bitzer

Founder and editor of baseballtradevalues.com
13 Comments
  1. Nate Dub

    Is Kimbrel that much of a bubble case? His option is for 16M and he was objectively horrible for the White Sox. I could see the White Sox taking a second try, but I don’t see it at 16M.

    • John Bitzer

      Right, we estimate his surplus at 0.3. And as mentioned above, the White Sox said publicly they want to tender him and then try to trade him.

      • Nate Dub

        I assume you mean pick up his option, not tender?

        But I can’t see why anyone would willingly take on 16M of salary for Kimbrel unless the White Sox sweeten the pot, but they don’t exactly have the prospect depth to do that.

  2. Andrew Villars

    First off, John, I’m actually intrigued by this list because when I look at this list, I think to myself that there could be a lot of surprise candidates that could be cut this offseason (i.e. Reyes, Bell, Duvall, even Bellinger), but in the ones that struck out to me were Victor Robles, Keston Hiura, and Mickey Moniak. The main reason why is that they are still young players and former top prospects at that but have underperformed in the majors thus far. So, I’ve been meaning to ask in your honest opinion, at this point in their careers, is it too early to consider these three players as “busts”, and should they be non-tendered, where do you think they will end up?

    • John Bitzer

      Sometimes the team will give them one more chance. Two years ago we had Nomar Mazara on this list. Texas then traded him to White Sox for an iffy prospect. A year after that he was non-tendered, and is now without a team. I wouldn’t be surprised if those guys followed similar paths. Baseball can be a ruthless sport — there’s only so much time and effort teams will give to players before they cut bait.

    • jerry mullen

      Royals list should have included Lucious Fox and Ryan McBroom and no way Rivera. Royals are loaded with middle infielders and prospects Pratto and Pasquantino for 1B

      • John Bitzer

        Thanks for the feedback. As mentioned below, there will be cases where a team will stick with a player despite the fact that it’s not cost-effective. At the lower levels, it’s pretty fungible anyway. Rivera has no surplus value on paper, which is why he’s here. The other two you mentioned have a little bit, so yeah, it wouldn’t be a surprise if they were let go.

      • John Bitzer

        … and the Royals have announced that they’ve released McBroom, so good call on that one.

  3. Steven Slater

    There is a zero percent chance Josh Bell is non-tendered.

    His mundane numbers are the result of a horrendous, covid induced start. If you take away the first two weeks coming off covid, he was s 127 wRC+ bat. And after the first month coming off the COVID IL, he posted .283/.371/.507 slash line (133 wRC+).

    But more importantly, for the first time in his career, Josh Bell found a measure of consistency. Starting with June, he posted monthly wRC+’s of 132, 129, 121, &148. Add to that a 127 wRC+ the last three weeks of May and that is the most consistently good season of Bell’s career.

    The Nationals aren’t competing next season. Not without a tremendous amount of luck. And even if they were, they don’t have a better option in the farm system and would have to pay much more money in free agency for similar performance.

    Simply put, its worth the ~10 million gamble that Bell figured something out in DC and can repeat last seadon without getting sick. Best case scenario, the Nats get a nice trade piece at the deadline. Worst case is last season’s consistency was a fluke and they simply don’t pursue him as a free agent next offseason. But the Nats are absolutely tendering him a contract this offseason.

    • John Bitzer

      Well argued. He’s on this list because, on paper, he’s not worth $10M. But there are definitely cases where the team might decide to keep a player for other reasons, and this could be one of them.

  4. Douglas Joslyn

    I’d agree with your thoughts on Gary Sanchez, but with no significant options available on the free agent market, they’re not going to move on from one of the core players of what was supposed to be a new dynasty(what a joke that looks like) without a significant replacement available. Kyle Higashioka is not it. If he was providing $2 or $3M in value it would be understandable, but if the difference is only $1m, they’ll keep him for his last year of arbitration for sure.

    • Samarth Jain

      Sanchez was barely above replacement this year with 0.7 WAR. He has no glove behind the plate and can’t hit anymore either. It’s gonna be tough to win a championship with weak link in the lineup, so I’m thinking they try to move for one, like Sean Murphy from the A’s.

  5. Runelvys Lopez

    Jordan Holloway’s numbers are skewed negatively because the Miami Marlins misused him. He was completely dominant out of the bullpen, yet midway through the season, they tried using him as… a starting pitcher? To no one’s surprise, that backfired tremendously.

    Okert was a nice surprise pickup, though I’m still iffy about his projections.

    There’s almost zero chance Jesus Aguilar is being non-tendered. He single-handedly carried the 29th-in-MLB offense Marlins after the trade deadline. The real question is if Garrett Cooper is still on the team by Opening Day 2022. Cooper can rake, but almost always loses over half the season due to being made of glass, and even on field, his defense is about the equivalent of a blue screen of death.

    Just some opinions from a broken Marlins fan’s perspective.

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