Welcome to non-tender day, everybody. Yes, today is the deadline for teams
to decide whether to tender
contracts to unsigned players on their 40-man roster.
It’s usually done
with a player between three and six years of service time coming off injury or a team simply doesn’t feel the player is worth a
new contract. However, this winter we have a number of teams (I’m looking at you, Padres and Reds) who would
prefer not to keep a productive player because of a considerable jump in salary.
Over the past few weeks, I’ve profiled a few of the most likely non-tenders (Kelly Shoppach, Garrett Atkins, Kelly Johnson) and
even though Shoppach was recently traded to the Rays, as a result, his new teammate Dioner
Navarro is now one of the more likely names on the chopping block.
Here are some
other non-tender candidates of note, complete with ’09 stats:
Kevin Correia (Padres) – 12-11, 3.98 ERA
Jack Cust (Athletics) – .240/.356/.417 with 25 home runs and 70 RBI
Chien-Ming Wang (Yankees) – 1-6, 9.64 ERA
John Buck (Royals) – .247/.299/.484 with eight home runs and 36 RBI
Jonny Gomes (Reds) – .267/.338/.541 with 20 home runs and 51 RBI
D.J. Carrasco (White Sox) – 3.76 ERA and 1.41 WHIP in 93 1/3 innings
See any good fits for your team? Keep it here throughout the day for the non-tenders as they roll in.
According to Jorge Castillo of the Washington Post, Nationals infielder Danny Espinosa declined to attend the team’s annual Winterfest because of his dissatisfaction with management following their trade for outfielder Adam Eaton.
A source told Castillo that Espinosa’s unhappiness stemmed from a belief that the acquisition would jeopardize his starting role in 2017. With Eaton in center field, Trea Turner will likely return to his post at shortstop, leaving Espinosa out in the cold — or, as the case may be, on the bench. The move shouldn’t come as a big surprise to Espinosa, however, as Nationals’ GM Mike Rizzo spoke to the possibility of trading the infielder or reassigning him to a utility role back in early November.
Offensively, the 29-year-old had a down year in 2016, slashing just .209/.306/.378 with 24 home runs in 601 PA. Defensively, he still profiles among the top shortstops in the National League, with eight DRS (Defensive Runs Saved) and 8.3 Def (Defensive Runs Above Average) in his seventh year with the club.
Espinosa will reach free agency after the 2017 season.
The Red Sox might be trying to move the wrong pitcher, according to the Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. Cafardo revealed that while the Sox have been trying to market right-hander Clay Buchholz, more teams would be interested in trades involving southpaw Drew Pomeranz.
The club appears reluctant to deal Pomeranz, especially because his price tag comes in at a cool $4.7 million to Buchholz’s $13.5 million in 2017. Those who have already expressed interest in the veteran hurlers, including the Twins, Mariners and Royals, also seem put off by Buchholz’s salary requirements as he enters his 32nd year.
Health could be another factor preventing teams from jumping to make trade offers, as Cafardo quotes an AL executive who believes the “medicals on both Pomeranz and Buchholz probably aren’t that great.” Neither pitcher suffered any major injuries during the 2016 season, though Pomeranz missed just over a week of play due to forearm soreness.
Pomeranz outperformed his fellow starter in 2016, pitching to a 3.32 ERA and career-best 9.8 K/9 through 170 2/3 innings with the Padres and Red Sox. He got off to an exceptionally strong start in San Diego, where his ERA dropped to 2.47 through the first half of the year before the Padres dealt him to Boston for minor league right-hander Anderson Espinoza. Buchholz, on the other hand, struggled with a 4.78 ERA and saw a decline in both his BB/9 and K/9 rates as he worked out a career-low 1.69 K/BB through 139 1/3 innings with the Sox.