Starting tonight, teams will decide whether or not to tender arbitration offers to their free agents. A non-tender means that a guy can walk without draft pick compensation. In the past there wasn’t a lot of risk to offering guys arbitration because most of them wanted to test the market. It’s a lot tougher out there for a free agent these days, however, so a lot of dudes may very well accept a team’s offer, putting the team on the hook for millions to a guy they’d just as soon see walk away. In other words, it’s the only place in baseball where gambling is still allowed.
Today Tim Dierkes at MLB Trade Rumors predicts, player by player, who he thinks will and wont get arb offers. I think he’s right on most of them, and to the extent I disagree, they are mere quibbles, based more on what I think teams should do as opposed to what they will do. For example, he has the Giants offering Bengie Molina arbitration. They might just do that. But based on how many catchers have signed so far, I can’t help but think that Molina may just take the damn offer and stick the Giants with him.
Likewise Orlando Hudson, to whom Tim has the Dodgers not making an offer. His season may have ended poorly, but he’s valuable, right? I have to think that the Dodgers believe that someone will want him, thus rendering an offer a relatively low-risk proposition.
Anyway, check out Tim’s list. It’s a nice time-killer on a slow news day.
The Rays were set to honor retiring Red Sox DH David Ortiz with a ceremony prior to Sunday’s game, but as Pete Abraham of The Boston Globe reports, the slugger requested it be canceled out of respect for Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who tragically died early Sunday morning in a boating accident.
Ortiz was seen tearing up as the Rays remembered Fernandez and held a moment of silence:
Kudos to Ortiz for doing the right thing.
With a fourth-inning solo home run off of Phillies starter Jake Thompson, Mets outfielder Curtis Granderson reached the 30-homer plateau for the fourth time in his 13-year career. It’s a moment worth celebrating, only there’s one problem: he has just 56 RBI on the season.
There are many reasons for the low RBI total. 24 of Granderson’s 30 homers have come with the bases empty. He came into Sunday’s action hitting just .140 in 124 plate appearances with runners in scoring position and .197 with runners on base. He has hit leadoff for most of the season, meaning he’s had the Mets’ pitchers hitting “ahead” of him in the No. 9 slot as well as the Mets’ catchers typically hitting eighth. Mets catchers, collectively, have a .296 on-base percentage, the second-worst mark in the National League.
Since the end of August, Granderson has hit cleanup with Jose Reyes, Asdrubal Cabrera, and Yoenis Cespedes hitting in front of him. That change hasn’t been for naught, as he has 17 RBI in 21 games since.
Still, Granderson is on pace for the fewest RBI in a 30-homer season. Rob Deer and Felix Mantilla are tied for the record with 64 RBI. Deer (32 HR) accomplished the feat in 1992 with the Tigers and Mantilla (30 HR) in 1964 with the Red Sox. Only eight players have had 70 or fewer RBI in a 30-homer season. Evan Gattis is currently sitting on 30 homers with 68 RBI.