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.
Veteran utilityman Reid Brignac is in camp with the Astros on a minor league deal. The 31-year-old is close to being done as a major leaguer as he owns a career .219/.264/.309 triple-slash line across parts of nine seasons. In an effort to prolong his big league career, Brignac is now attempting to become a switch-hitter, MLB.com’s Brian McTaggart reports.
I’m going to try it out this year. It was something that I just thought long and hard about and I was like, ‘OK, I’m going to try and see how it goes.’ I used to switch-hit when I was younger off and on, nothing consistent. I could always handle the bat right-handed. I play golf right-handed, so I do a lot of things that way that feel natural.
I just want to get to the point where I’m trying to stay in games, not get pinch-hit for, not starting games because a lefty is starting. … That could help me stay in the games longer. I’m trying to add a new element. I play multiple positions and now if I can switch hit and be consistent at it, then that can only help me.
As Brignac mentions, he’s also verstile. He’s a shortstop by trade, but has also logged plenty of innings at second base and third base, and has occasionally played corner outfield.
There aren’t any examples — at least that I can think of — where players began switch-hitting late in their careers and actually succeeding in the major leagues. As the saying goes, you can’t teach an old dog new tricks. But here’s hoping Brignac bucks the trend.
Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons fell off the map a bit last year due to a combination of the Angels’ mediocrity, Simmons’ lack of offense, and a month-plus of missed action due to a torn ligament in his left thumb.
Simmons is still as good and as smart as ever on defense. That was on full display Monday when the Angels hosted the Padres for an afternoon spring exhibition.
With a runner on first base and nobody out in the top of the second inning, Carlos Asuaje grounded a 2-0 J.C. Ramirez fastball to right field. The runner, Hunter Renfroe, advanced to third base. Meanwhile, Asuaje wandered a little too far off the first base bag. Simmons cut off the throw to first base, spun around and fired to Luis Valbuena at first base. Valbuena swiped the tag on Asuaje for the first out of the inning.