Five Non-Tenders That Shaped The 2010 Pennant Race

Some non-tendered players end up performing like stars in new cities, but the best contract offer possible is sometimes the one a team doesn't make. Here's a look at five players who were non-tendered last year and impacted the 2010 pennant race:

  • Matt Capps – Capps has been excellent in 24 appearances for the Twins since coming over in a deal that sent catching prospect Wilson Ramos to Washington. The Pirates non-tendered Capps last December and the Twins and Nationals profit because of Pittsburgh's decision.
  • Dustin Moseley – Hey, he's pitched 60.1 innings for one of the best teams in baseball and even stepped into a starting role when Andy Pettitte went down. The Angels’ decision to non-tender Moseley isn’t necessarily one they would like to do over, but the swingman has added value for the Bronx Bombers, posting a 4.77 ERA so far.
  • Jonny Gomes – The Reds non-tendered Gomes only to re-sign him later in the offseason. The left fielder has a .761 OPS and 17 homers for the playoff-bound Reds.
  • Garrett Atkins – The Rockies guaranteed the combination of Melvin Mora, Jason Giambi and Miguel Olivo less than it would have cost to retain Atkins through arbitration. Instead of paying Atkins more than $7MM, GM Dan O'Dowd wisely non-tendered him and spent on other needs.
  • Kelly JohnsonOmar Infante and Martin Prado have produced well, so the decision to non-tender Johnson didn't necessarily hurt the Braves. Still, we can say with confidence that this year's Braves team would have seemed much different with more of Johnson (25 homers and .860 OPS in Arizona) and less of Prado and Infante.

27 Responses to Five Non-Tenders That Shaped The 2010 Pennant Race Leave a Reply

  1. j6takish 5 years ago

    Non Tendering Matt Capps….worst decision of the season? Yes or no

    • derekbellstutu 5 years ago

      Let’s remember that the Bucs signed Octavio Dotel after Capps was non-tendered and received James McDonald and Andrew Lambo when they dealt Dotel @ the deadline. I think I would rather have McDonald and Lambo than just Wilson Ramos.

  2. Ian_Smell 5 years ago

    I do not blame Neal Huntington at all for non-tendering Capps. After the way he pitched last year, he definitely deserved to be non-tendered. It’s just a matter of bad luck that he pitched so well.

    • bucs_lose_again 5 years ago

      I think it’s more a matter of bad luck that he pitched so poorly last year.

      • Jason_F 5 years ago

        His BABIP of .370 (third highest among MLB relievers) in 2009 would support that assertion.

  3. No way the Braves would have looked BETTER with Kelly Johnson instead of Infante and Prado. “Different” maybe, like you say, but worse.

    • Kelly Johnson has been a better player than either guy…and it wasn’t whether they should tender Johnson or release Infante AND Prado. They could’ve all coexisted, with less playing time of course but to say a guy with a 4+ WAR would make a team worse is idiotic. Of course it was hard to predict Johnson having the year he has, but we have the ability of hindsight so of course 2010 Kelly Johnson would’ve made the 2010 Atlanta Braves better.

      • how about actually looking deeper into stats instead of just skimming the surface? Kelly Johnson is one of the streakiest baseball players I have ever seen in my life, having been a Braves fan since as long as I can remember. Check his home/away splits… .301/.396/.580 compared to .251/.332/.404. Let’s go month by month now… April/March: .313./.404/.750 May: .245/.351/.418 June: .245/.345/.333 July: .333/.381/.552 August: .257/.357/.404 September: .325/.364/.590. Looks like he had three hot months, three cold months. The last two weeks, he’s hitting .419/.444/.767 with 1/5 of his homeruns in that span. Like I said, being a Braves fan, I knew that there was much more to Kelly Johnson than season long stats. You have to understand that this player is a streaky player. Consequently, he will go through stretches where he greatly helps his club win games and lose games.

        • CowboyJames 5 years ago

          anybody who thinks Kelly Johnson is a better player than Marin Prado is insane. And IMO the braves gave Johnson his opportunity and frankly he wasnt very good. Perhaps he benefited from a change in scenery. 1. I don’t think Johnson would have had that type of year in Atlanta. 2. Even if he did as a Braves fan I would take the combo of Prado and Infante over Johnson anyway. 3. We have an abundance of Left handed hitters that strike out too much and don’t hit lefties at all. He would have just been one more.

          • KJ’s career OPS vs LHP is higher than his career OPS vs RHP. I can understand why someone would think that he couldn’t hit lefties though, seeing how Bobby mindlessly platooned him while he was in a Braves uniform.

    • rockiesmagicnumber 5 years ago

      I’m still mad at Colorado for not picking him up.

    • They would have been better with KJ if Bobby had realized that he could have used either Johnson or Prado in LF this year. Kelly Johnson would be a huge improvement over Melky Cabrera, who’s played more LF than anyone else for us this year.

  4. Mark P 5 years ago

    Wow – The Pirates making a bad decision…never heard those words in a sentence before

  5. progmatinee 5 years ago

    Whats funny is next year I see the Rockies signing Atkins for less than they paid either of those 3.

  6. In hindsight non-tendering Matt Capps is the worst decision, but from the Pirates perspective he posted a 5.80 ERA in 57 games with opponents hitting .324 against him in 2009. He also blew 25% of his save chances with the Pirates since he was first called up in 2005 (67 saves in 89 chances).

  7. Guest 5 years ago

    well… Dustin Moseley isn’t very good…
    they could have got Dave Bush for essentially nothing from Milwaukee, and he can pitch more than 5 innings, unlike Moseley…

    Gomes… well… they resigned him…

    I would have liked to see Prado at third, and Johnson at 2nd, with Infante picking up a little time everywhere and maybe playing 1/4 of the time at short instead of Gonzalez

    but then again… we started the season with Escobar at SS, and Chip at third, so…

    • BravesRed 5 years ago

      Johnson’s success came from Chase Field, not away. Jones was starting to get hot before he got hurt. Gonzalez is doing better than what Escobar was doing on offense and defense. It’s true that Infante shouldn’t be starting, and his average dipping big time proves that. I’m fine with the way it is, until Jones got hurt and put Infante at 2nd.

  8. inkstainedscribe 5 years ago

    In hindsight, having KJ available after Chipper went down would have been a help. Of course, there’s no way of knowing if Johnson, Infante, and Prado would have performed as well as they did if they had spent most of the season as part-timers.

    • They didn’t have to be part-timers. One of Prado or Johnson could have played LF and Infante started the season as a part-timer anyways. Bottom line is that KJ would have produced more than Melky has, and that makes our non-tendering of KJ a huge mistake. There were plenty of Braves fans that knew it was a horrible idea when it happened.

  9. Chris Solberg 5 years ago

    Chase Field is notorious for helping southpaw swingers. But the real question is, would you rather have Melky playing many innings in left or KJ? The 2B/3B issue has only come up over the past couple months.

    I think Olivo’s assistance with the pitching staff alone has made the Atkins decision good for O’Dowd, even if Atkins would’ve hit better in Baltimore.

    • Thank you for understanding. This isn’t about KJ or Prado, it’s about KJ or Melky.

      • CowboyJames 5 years ago

        Makes tons of sense to me. I wasnt looking at it that way. KJ in left-Prado at 2nd-chipper at 3rd would have made this team much better. Now my question is…Would it have been good enough to win the NL East?

        • That’s completely up in the air, but I don’t think there’s anyway someone could say that it wouldn’t have made the Braves a better team. Oh well, hindsight is always 20/20 (unless you’re one of the Braves fans that knew it was a bad idea when he was non-tendered).

          • inkstainedscribe 5 years ago

            I do wonder how much of Kelly’s streaky performance was from the intense focus he got in Atlanta — all undeserved, in my view. Expectations in Phoenix were low and he was allowed to just play ball. How he would have performed had he stayed in Atlanta is anyone’s guess.

            Would re-signing Johnson have precluded some other move that helped the club (Hinkse, for instance)? That said, it’s clear that the Melky experiment has not worked.

          • Melky is making $3.2MM (with $500K paid by the Yanks) and the Braves added some payroll with Lee, Farnsworth, and Ankiel. I think they could have afforded to pay KJ for another year.

  10. the thing is, how do you know when someone is hot or cold? Do you have the vision to see a hot streak from a streaky player like Johnson the day it starts? On the flipside, do you have the vision to sit that streaky player when his hot streak has abruptly ended and his cold one begins? The problem with streaky players is that they aren’t either of their extremes, they are a player somewhere in the middle. However, they play only like their extremes, not like the year-long average they seem to be.

Leave a Reply