2013 Non-tender Tracker

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We’ll be writing up the non-tenders as they come in prior to Monday’s midnight deadline. These players immediately become free agents.

AMERICAN LEAGUE

Angels – RHP Juan Gutierrez, RHP Tommy Hanson, INF Chris Nelson, RHP Jerome Williams

All of these were expected. Hanson and Williams would have cost upwards of $4 million apiece. Williams is worth at least $2 million-$3 million anyway for his value as a swingman, but $4 million is a bit steep. Hanson is likely looking at a cheap one-year deal to battle for a rotation spot on a non-contender.

Blue Jays – C J.P. Arencibia

The Jays worked all day to find a trade partner for Arencibia after signing Dioner Navarro, but couldn’t find anyone willing to give up a prospect and spent $2.5 million-$3 million on his services. Arencibia could yet land a starting job with a thrifty team.

Indians – OF Matt Carson, RHP Tyler Cloyd, C Lou Marson

Carson and Cloyd could be re-signed to minor league deals. The Indians decided not to spend a million or so to retain Marson after he missed most of the year with a neck injury following a collision with Desmond Jennings, but he’s a decent enough backup catcher when healthy.

Orioles – RHP Eddie Gamboa, OF Jason Pridie

Rays – OF Sam Fuld, LHP Wesley Wright

As a true fifth outfielder, Fuld belongs in the NL. He’s too limited to eat up one of the four (or sometimes just three) bench spots on an AL roster. Wright had a nice showing after coming over from the Astros in August, posting a 15/3 K/BB ratio in 12 1/3 innings. The Rays didn’t want to be on the hook for $1.5 million or so, but he should get similar cash elsewhere.

Red Sox – RHP Andrew Bailey, OF Ryan Kalish

The rumor all day was that the Red Sox would work something out with Bailey, even though that would have meant paying him $4 million to spend at least half of next season rehabbing following shoulder surgery. Cutting him makes more sense, and he could yet be re-signed for a cheaper sum. Kalish, a once-promising outfield prospect done in by injuries, will be offered the chance to stay on a minor league contract.

Royals – 2B Chris Getz

After four years and 332 games of replacement level play, Getz is finally gone from Kansas City. He doesn’t have the bat to be a decent starting second baseman or the versatility to carve out a career as a utilityman, so he might be essentially done as a major leaguer.

White Sox – RHP Dylan Axelrod

A fringy swingman, Axelrod had gone 7-13 with a 5.36 ERA in 30 starts and 18 relief appearances for the White Sox the last three seasons. A different ballpark could help him, but he’ll have to battle for a spot in spring training.

Yankees – INF David Adams, RHP Matt Daley, INF Jayson Nix

This according to Brian Cashman. The oft-injured Adams got a look at third last year because of injuries, but he hit just .193/.252/.286 with 43 strikeouts in 140 at-bats. There was no longer any room for Nix after the Brendan Ryan signing. but he should get a utility gig elsewhere after his strong showing defensively at shortstop last season. 

NATIONAL LEAGUE

Braves – SS Paul Janish, INF Elliot Johnson, RHP Cristhian Martinez

Janish, 31, hit .171/.222/.220 in 45 plate appearances this year at the major league level, and Johnson, 29, batted .209/.255/.283 in 275 plate appearances. Janish, at least, offers quality defense at shortstop, if nothing else. Martinez is on his way back from major shoulder surgery and isn’t expected to be ready for Opening Day.

Brewers – none

Cardinals – RHP John Axford

Thanks to his $5 million salary, Axford was essentially marked for non-tendering after losing his closer gig in Milwaukee in April. He pitched pretty well from then on, and he’s definitely worth $4 million or so the right team. The Cardinals, though, can do without him. 

Cubs – RHP Daniel Bard, 1B-3B Mat Gamel, RHP Chang-Yong Lim

Bard fell apart in 2012 and couldn’t right the ship in 2013. In fact, things have gotten even worse of late: he walked nine while getting just one out in three appearances in the Puerto Rican Winter League. The right-hander posted a 2.88 ERA and 9.7 K/9 over his first 197 major league innings (2009-2011), but he’ll likely have to settle for a minor league contract for 2014. Bard turns 29 next June. … The 37-year-old Lim was given a two-year, minor league deal to sign out of Korea as he was rehabbing following Tommy John surgery last winter. He gave up three runs in five innings after a September callup.

Diamondbacks – RHP Daniel Hudson

While still rehabbing after the first, Hudson needed a second Tommy John surgery in June. The smart play might be for him to sit out the entire 2014 season, but he’ll probably aim for a return after the All-Star break instead. He’s still a very intriguing long-term property. It doesn’t look like the Diamondbacks have given up on bringing him back.

Dodgers – RHP Ronald Belisario

Belisario is a decent enough setup man, but the Dodgers are going to upgrade there, which might not be a bad idea given that their two best defensive infielders are free agents and Hanley Ramirez may stay at shortstop. A strikeout guy could help them more.

Giants – OF Francisco Peguero, RHP Sandy Rosario

The Giants are so loaded in the pen that they could non-tender a guy in Rosario who had a 3.02 ERA in 41 2/3 innings last season and makes nothing (he won’t even be eligible for arbitration for two years). They’ll probably just plug prospect Heath Hembree into his spot.

Marlins – OF Chris Coghlan, RHP Ryan Webb

The former Rookie of the Year is the name here, but Webb is the much bigger loss. The Marlins are giving away a perfectly fine reliever just because he’ll make $1.5 million-$1.8 million next year. The sinkerballing Webb had a 2.91 ERA in 80 1/3 innings last season, and he still seems to be getting better as he enters his age-28 campaign. Unless there’s some sort of injury here that we don’t know about, letting him go for nothing is the height of foolishness.

Mets – RHP Scott Atchison, RHP Jeremy Hefner,  INF Omar Quintanilla, INF Justin Turner, 2B-OF Jordany Valdespin

Atchison and Quintanilla were non-tendered by other teams last year, so they know how it works. Atchison likely would have undergone elbow surgery a year ago if he had been 26 rather than 36. He managed to get through 51 appearances for the Mets, but a late swoon left him with a 4.37 ERA. Quintanilla spent too much of the year as the Mets’ starting shortstop, hitting .222/.306/.283 in 315 at-bats. He’s a 25th man at best. Valdespin’s latest off-field transgression was a Biogenesis tie, but he’ll attract offers from other teams because of his age (26 on December 23) and past flashes of promising minor league production. … Hefner and Turner were late additions to the list. Hefner will miss most or all of next season following Tommy John surgery, but since he would have cost a mere $500,000 to keep around, it’s surprising the Mets didn’t ante up.

Pirates – 1B Garrett Jones, C Michael McKenry, RHP Kyle McPherson

All of these guys had already been designated for assignment. This just officially wipes them from the books. The Pirates did opt to keep outfielder Travis Snider, who was thought to be on the borderline.

Reds – OF Xavier Paul, OF Derrick Robinson

NL teams are always looking for pinch-hitting types, and Paul hit .273 with three homers in 33 at-bats in that role last season, which should serve to keep him employed. Robinson was DFA’d previously.

Rockies – RHP Mitchell Boggs

Boggs wasn’t the same disaster in his September callup with the Rockies (3 R in 8 2/3 IP) that he was with the Cardinals earlier in the season (18 ER in 14 2/3 IP), but neither did he show his 2010-12 form. Another pitching coach will get to take him on as a project.

Must-Click Link: Where’s Timmy?

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Tim Lincecum last pitched last season for the Angels and he did not pitch well. Over the winter and into the spring there were reports that he was working out at a facility somewhere in Arizona with an aim toward trying to latch on to another team. He didn’t. And, given how his velocity and effectiveness had nosedived over the previous few seasons, it was probably unrealistic to think he’d make it back to the bigs.

But now, as Daniel Brown of the Mercury News reports, he seems to simply be gone.

He’s not missing in any legal sense — his friends and family know where he is — but he’s out of the public eye in a way that most players at the end of their careers or the beginning of their retirements usually aren’t. He’s not been hanging around his old club, even though the Giants say they’d love to honor him and give him a job if and when he announces his retirement. He’s not hanging around his high school or college alma maters even though he makes his home in Seattle, where they are. He’s gone from being one of the most identifiable and conspicuous presences in baseball to having disappeared from the public eye.

Brown’s story is an excellent one, touching on Lincecum’s professional rise and professional fall, as well as the personality traits that may suggest why he’s not eager to be making headlines or posing for pictures. A good read.

 

Major League Baseball claims it will “redouble its efforts” on expanded netting

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Yesterday, during the Minnesota Twins-New York Yankees game at Yankee Stadium, a young girl was injured after a foul ball flew off the bat of Todd Frazier and into the stands along the third base line where she was sitting. In some parks that ball would be stopped because of netting down the line.

There was no netting that far down the line in Yankee Stadium, because (a) Major League Baseball does not require it; and (b) the Yankees have still not committed to expanding it like other teams have.

A few minutes ago, Commissioner Rob Manfred released a statement about the injury:

I’m not sure how baseball can “redouble” its efforts given that its efforts thus far have been to completely delegate the responsibility of expanded netting to the 30 clubs.

This delegation came in December of 2015 when Major League Baseball released its recommendation — not its mandate — that teams provide expanded netting. Teams were “encouraged” to shield the seats between the near ends of both dugouts (i.e., the ends of the dugouts located closest to home plate) and within 70 feet of home plate with protective netting or other safety materials of the clubs’ choice. At the same time, they launched “fan education” guidelines about where to sit and whether or not they’ll be protected.

While these recommendations were better than nothing, they also seemed far more geared toward diminishing the liability of the league and its clubs than actively protecting fans from screaming projectiles.

The stuff about fan education was obviously a creature of an assumption-of-the-risk calculus. It was, essentially, a disclaimer of the “don’t say we didn’t warn you” variety and, as such, was aimed more at shielding baseball from liability over batted ball or bat-shard injuries than at directly shielding fans from such injuries. Even the netting recommendation could be construed as MLB insulating itself from being joined in a lawsuit at a later date if a club were to get sued over a fan injury. A way of saying “hey, we told the Yankees [or whoever] that they should do more, please don’t sue us too.”

It’s one thing to do all of that and walk away, as the league seemed content to do in 2015. It’s another thing to walk back today, as Manfred is, claiming that the league will “redouble” such transparently ineffective efforts. It’s frankly insulting. Yet this is baseball’s approach to the matter. The league is, for whatever reason, afraid to tell its clubs that it has to do something that is so clearly prudent. It, apparently, is waiting for a someone to be killed by a foul ball before mandating netting rather than meekly suggesting it.

Oh, I’m sorry. Waiting for someone else to be killed. Because it has happened before. Absent prudent protections it will, inevitably, happen again.

While Major League Baseball may have been safe from being held responsible for such things due to its ticket disclaimers and assumption of the risk arguments in the past, it won’t be in the future. One would hope it will not take death or debilitating injury of a fan for the league to accept it.