Relievers Headed For Non-Tenders

Often due to the save statistic, decent relievers are non-tendered every year because of their expected salaries.  It happened to Matt Capps last year.  Which relievers might get the axe on this year's December non-tender deadline and join the free agent market?

  • Bobby Jenks, White Sox.  Jenks has only blown one save this year, but Ozzie Guillen is already looking at other closer options.  Jenks has racked up strikeouts, but his control is off and he's given up a slew of hits.  I felt he was a longshot non-tender candidate last time around.  Tendering him a contract and giving a raise on his $7.5MM salary this time probably won't be appealing.
  • George Sherrill, Dodgers.  Giving Sherrill a bump from $4.5MM might not make sense for the Dodgers even if he was pitching well.  However, the lefty has completely lost it in the early going with 12 walks and 14 hits in 11.3 innings. 
  • Brian Bruney, Nationals.  Bruney would earn more than $1.5MM in 2011 as a fourth-time arbitration-eligible player.  With the walks spiraling out of control, there's a good chance the Nats cut him loose as they did with Mike MacDougal last year. 
  • Tony Pena, White Sox.  Pena has time to turn things around; he's only tossed 15.6 innings this year.  He's earning $1.2MM on the season and would go to arbitration for a second time.
  • Rafael Perez, Indians.  Perez is only earning $795K this year, but even the idea of a guaranteed contract might not work for the Tribe if he repeats his '09 season. 
  • The 2011 free agent list already contains a full slate of relievers, but keep these names in mind as potential additions.

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