2008 Baseball Non-tenders Rumors
Here's MLB.com's official list of all the players who were non-tendered. These players are all free agents now. Any interesting names?
Josh Towers can at least eat innings for someone. He'll be 31 in February. His control is incredible, but in turn he's very hittable. Throw him in a big NL park with a strong defense, he could post a sub-4.00 ERA.
Mark Prior, just 27, is one of the more intriguing names out there. He was drafted by the Yankees in '98 but went to college instead. Back in August, he was talking about being ready for Opening Day following April shoulder surgery. However he was supposed to be thinking about throwing around late October and I haven't heard anything about that. Four league months might from him might be the best case scenario. But he could be solid in 2009 if the shoulder is truly repaired.
Kiko Calero turns 33 in January. He was lousy in '07, but he had shoulder problems for much of the year and expects to be healthy for Spring Training. He was a solid reliever from 2003-06. 32 year-old Matt Wise isn't dominant but you could do worse for your sixth inning guy.
Akinori Otsuka turns 36 in January. Last we heard, he was throwing pain-free. If his elbow looks good upon review, he could be a nice late-inning addition hopefully on a one-year deal.
Emil Brown will be 33 years old soon. He never found his groove in '07 and may never again. But he had over 1,000 ABs of an OPS over .800 from 2005-06 and deserves a shot.
Kevin Mench, 30 in January, still owns lefties. With the right platoon partner, say, Shawn Green, they could do some damage.
Adam Everett, 31 in February, may be the only somewhat viable free agent shortstop now. His .299 career OBP is ghastly, but he's among the best defensive shortstops in the game.
Miguel Olivo and Johnny Estrada are the two viable free agent catching options. Both have shown the ability to be above average hitters for their position. Olivo gunned down 33% of attempted thieves, but Estrada was the worst in the game at 13%. Olivo, however, cannot get on base to save his life.
Morgan Ensberg, 32, hit 36 home runs in 2005. He's had injuries and plain ineffectiveness since, but he's worthy of consideration in a weak third base market. Another former Astro, Jason Lane, turns 31 soon. He can play all three outfield positions and socked 26 HR in '05. Maybe there was something in Houston's water that year.
As you know, the non-tender deadline is tonight. I've got my list of candidates right here. In this post, I'll note all those who are officially non-tendered and hence become free agents.
- The Royals cut the cord on Emil Brown. He turns 33 soon; he hit an ugly .257/.300/.347 in 2007. Brown earned $3.45MM in '07.
- The Tigers non-tendered Chad Durbin, toss him into the free agent pool. Guess those trade talks with the Bucs didn't work out.
Midnight Wednesday marks baseball's non-tender deadline. That's when teams must choose whether to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players. If they don't offer a contract, the player is non-tendered and becomes a free agent. While Kevin Mench and Matt Wise were technically designated for assignment, they'll soon be non-tendered. I've added both to the free agent list and will continue to update it.
Here's a list of possible non-tenders. Who do you think will be the best player to hit the free agent pool tomorrow? Morgan Ensberg? Joe Crede? Mark Prior?
On Wednesday, the non-tender deadline will occur. Basically, that's when teams decide whether to offer a contract to the unsigned players on their 40-man roster. Players not tendered a contract become free agents. Past non-tenders include David Ortiz, Rick Ankiel, Joel Pineiro, Ryan Franklin, Ryan Spilborghs, and David Eckstein. Usually at least a few useful guys are unearthed.
Here's my initial crack at a list of non-tender candidates.
- Note that I tried to limit the list to names I found interesting. I came across some additional candidates but left them out as they didn't seem worthy. No need to debate the worth of Jae Seo (on the list) vs. Kirk Saarloos (not on the list).
- Comment fodder: Any interesting names I missed? Which player will turn out to be the best of the non-tender class? Who will get the biggest free agent contract?