Every year players are non-tendered for many reasons; perhaps they’re injured, have grown too expensive, or just simply aren’t performing well. Whatever the case, these players add sometimes unexpected options to the free agent market and often yield bargain results.
Kelly Johnson has to be figured as the prize of last offseason’s non-tender crop. The Braves decided to cut the then 27-year-old loose, and he rewarded the Diamondbacks with a .284/.370/.486 line. Johnson belted 26 home runs, swiped 13 bags, played nearly 1300 innings of strong defense, and totaled 6 WAR according to Fangraphs — all for $2.35MM.
Let’s not forget Mike Rizzo’s dealings either. The Nats’ GM signed Matt Capps for just $3.5MM and flipped him to the Twins at the deadline to receive Wilson Ramos and Joe Testa. Ramos was ranked as the Twins’ #4 prospect and the game’s #58 prospect entering the 2010 season. Not a bad ROI for a low-risk move on Rizzo’s part.
According to MLBTR’s Transaction Tracker, 52 players were non-tendered this year. Some of the more interesting cases include Bobby Jenks (now in Boston), Russell Martin (now a Yankee), Joel Peralta (now a Ray), Jack Cust (now a Mariner), Dustin Moseley (now a Padre), and George Sherrill (now a Brave). All six of these players saw either strong 2010 seasons or have experienced success at the Major League level. Looking at this season and beyond, let’s pose the question: