Should They Have Been Non-Tendered?

On November 2nd of last year I listed 85 non-tender candidates, most of whom were indeed cut loose.  Almost five months have passed since the December non-tender deadline, and I'd like to revisit five of those decisions.

  • Kevin Kouzmanoff, tendered a contract by the Athletics.  The A's certainly shopped around for third base alternatives after tendering a contract to Kouzmanoff, which ended up being for $4.75MM.  So far the third baseman has again been part of the problem, though he's not alone as the team ranks 11th in the AL with 3.63 runs scored per game.  There weren't many alternatives for the A's this offseason, but they probably should have saved Kouzmanoff's money for a trade deadline addition.  They'll still be able to pursue someone, though.
  • James Loney, tendered a contract by the Dodgers.  Loney is already on notice with the Dodgers given the arrival of Jerry Sands.  Loney settled for a predictable $4.875MM salary for 2011.  Sands doesn't actually project to do any better than Loney, but the two are close enough that the Dodgers probably should have traded Loney and used the money elsewhere.
  • Russell Martin, non-tendered by the Dodgers.  According to Yahoo's Steve Henson, Martin wanted a guaranteed $5.5MM rather than the Dodgers' offer of $4.2MM.  GM Ned Colletti made the difficult decision to non-tender Martin, but kept the offer on the table while suggesting a possible super-utility role.  Martin ended up taking less guaranteed money to start at catcher for the Yankees, and he's off to a great start.  The Dodgers could have forced Martin's hand by tendering a contract and arguing for a pay cut through arbitration.  That would have been a risky choice, and Martin's health was a concern at the time, so I can't fault the Dodgers for non-tendering him.
  • Bobby Jenks, non-tendered by the White Sox.  Non-tendering Jenks was the right move given his $7.5MM salary, and the pitcher understood that decision according to MLB.com's Scott Merkin.  However, Jenks and the Sox were not on the same page about the team's desire to retain him and confidence in his abilities, so he signed with Boston.  The White Sox lead baseball with six blown saves, but it was still best for them to part ways with Jenks.
  • Brandon McCarthy, outrighted by the Rangers in November.  If they had retained McCarthy, the Rangers probably would have had to pay him something similar to last year's $1.3MM salary rather than the $1MM he received from the A's.  McCarthy has looked good so far, though it's only been three starts.  The Rangers are second in the AL in starter ERA without McCarthy.  Still, given the strong offseason interest in him I think it would have been best to tender a contract and shop him around.


Leave a Reply

32 Comments on "Should They Have Been Non-Tendered?"


4 years 4 months ago

After Kyle Kendrick’s performance last night and their relative depth in the long reliever category in LV with Worley, etc., the Phils may want a chance to re-evaluate their decision.

4 years 4 months ago

beat me to the punch, i was just going to say kendrick. hard to believe the phillies are paying him $2MM+ this year.

dylanp5030
4 years 4 months ago

Ditto. Kendrick needs to get released.

4 years 4 months ago

Kouz and the rest of the A’s are not hitting much… it is ironic that the A’s (GREAT pitching with the exception of Fuentes) and Padres (Ditto) are almost an identical team.. the Padres maybe should have non tendered Ludwick…

4 years 4 months ago

Kendrick and Ludwick were really good candidates for this post. Maybe I will have to do another one.

dylanp5030
4 years 4 months ago

Yes, Kendrick should have been non tendered, along with Blanton a couple years ago in my opinion.

Lunchbox45
4 years 4 months ago

Loney makes 5 million a season.. There is no justice in the world

4 years 4 months ago

not sure why you missed Aceves, he should never have been allowed to go to Boston, he looks as solid as ever. Bad move by Cashman, he should have paid a premium to keep him and prevent him from Boston. The money could not be that much (less than $1M), and also a roster spot could have been located.

daveineg
4 years 4 months ago

Manny Parra should have been non-tendered by the Brewers. Instead they did a “de-facto” non tendering of Carlos Villanueva by dealing him to Toronto for cash.

Parra developed a bad back in Arizona, has been awful in a rehab assignment, and there doesn’t appear to be a place on the roster for him when his rehab is finished.

Villanueva on the other hand has been nearly lights out for Jays, allowing one hit (albeit a HR in 9 2/3 IP with 11 K’s. Forced to replace Villanueva, Brewers spent roughly 60% of what they would have on Villanueva for Sean Green, who’s had mixed results so far.

They did appear to make the correct decision on Todd Coffey however.

Tom R
4 years 4 months ago

Jeff Mathis should be on here as well. Why tender him a contract if you are going to keep Hank Conger and Bobby Wilson on the roster? Plus, he’s a lifetime .200 hitter!

Gumby65
4 years 4 months ago

Who knew Russell Martin was going to show up non-distracted? So for precedence and hindsight being unreasonably 20/20, they made the right choice.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
4 years 4 months ago

Who knew he was going to show up at all? The Dodgers made him a perfectly reasonable offer. Clearly he wanted to be somewhere else.

nm344
4 years 4 months ago

Kendrick’s outing yesterday may have been the worst I’ve ever seen. Brewers scored their first 2 runs off him without a hit.

4 years 4 months ago

All of his outs came from guys who got themselves out.

Two sac flys, and a below average baserunner who was trying to score from 2nd on basehit to RF. I’m not fully convinced that Kotsay didn’t just want to get the game over with.

4 years 4 months ago

Awfully hard to criticize the Rangers for non-tendering McCarthy, who hadn’t struck out enough guys and gave up too many homers. Maybe the price was fairly low, but the Rangers were trying to get all the money together they could in order to keep Cliff Lee. Interesting to note that quite a few of his through-age-25 comparables did go on to have solid careers: Pavano, Loaiza, Bob Walk, Phil Regan, Chris Bosio. This is one of those cases where I feel the player and new team deserve credit for his development more than the old team deserves blame for letting him go.

It’s way too early to get a read because of his injury, but it will be interesting to watch how J.J. Hardy plays out for the Twins. Casilla has been an out machine at SS so far, and Nishioka’s injury has left them without much depth in the middle infield.

bleedDODGERblue
4 years 4 months ago

Sands doesn’t project to do any better than Loney?

notsureifsrs
4 years 4 months ago

this season, according to the ZiPS projection he linked to. over the longer term, sands projects to be the better player

jwredsox
4 years 4 months ago

I don’t buy Sands at all. He has survived against lesser pitchers but anyone who looks at his mechanics knows he will have trouble against better pitchers.

“A product of Division II Catawba College in North Carolina, Sands showed an inefficient, disjointed swing. Starting open, he took a big stride that forced him to lean his torso back to find balance. His hips drifted forward then twisted open along with his shoulders. Because of his long stride, he didn’t give himself much time to plant his front leg and leverage off of it. He has decent bat speed but he gets by more on strength than quickness.

Though he is patient, Sands didn’t put himself in a good position to drive off-speed pitches. He occasionally buckled on good breaking balls and seldom made loud contact. He fought himself with his swing mechanics; his upper body and lower body out of sync. He wasn’t in a good position to drive pitches that he wasn’t expecting.”

goner
4 years 4 months ago

The A’s could always try another player that was non-tendered last year, Andy Laroche, at his ‘natural’ position, 3B.

Robert Gaito
4 years 4 months ago

They have been recently, LaRoche has been seeing a good amount of time at 3B over Kouz. I’ll be interested to see what the A’s do when Rosales comes back from his injury midseason..

mattinglyfan
4 years 4 months ago

James Loney should’ve been traded this offseason, and yes, Russell Martin should’ve been non-tendered. While he’s doing good with the Yankees, something wasn’t clicking with the Dodgers and he needed a fresh start.

Lunchbox45
4 years 4 months ago

he is just one bad baseball player…

The only way his offensive numbers look good is if he was a good fielding SS or a good fielding catcher.

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
4 years 4 months ago

Since I was one who thought he should be tendered a contract, I’d give him another month or so to shape up. If he can get back to at least his 2009 form, when he was a good OBP and RBI man, then he has value, especially in a lineup loaded with free-swingers. Otherwise not.

notsureifsrs
4 years 4 months ago

loney was a below average major league player in 2009. he has had one good [partial] season and that was about 4 years ago

the dream is long over

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
4 years 4 months ago

A slash of .281/.357/.399/ is “below average?” Okie-dokie. And I did say “at least” didn’t I? Yup, seems I did.

CaseyBlakeDeWitt
4 years 4 months ago

He was good the first half of 2010 as well..

notsureifsrs
4 years 4 months ago

if we pretend the only thing major league players do is hit, a slash of .281/.357/.399/ is only below average for major league first basemen, not for every position. so there’s that i guess

but since that’s not the only thing players do, we know that loney was in fact a below average major league player in 2009. and in 2008. and in 2010

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
4 years 4 months ago

So you are saying that Loney is a defensive liability? OR? Even assuming that offensive stats by position are useful stats (personally I think the idea is nonsense), maybe you can come up with some stats to backup your argument that his line for 2009 was below average “for major league first baseman.”

BlueSkyLA
BlueSkyLA
4 years 4 months ago

Sure, but we’re not allowed to mention that so I went for his last full season of swinging the bat well. If he could get himself back to that type of performance I wouldn’t be squawking him for hitting “only” 12-15 HRs a season.

thegrayrace
4 years 4 months ago

Only Daniel Murphy had a lower OPS among regular 1B in 2009. Daniel Murphy. And he’s a 2B now.

notsureifsrs
4 years 4 months ago

as dude^ just showed you, even by sloppy OPS standards he was bottom of the barrel with the bat. using wOBA, he was 23rd out of 25 qualifying 1st basemen in 2009

wRC+? 23rd (102 means he was barlely above average creatings runs across all positions)

ISO? 24th

batting average? 14th. OBP? 17th. SLG? 24th OPS? 24th

go ahead and compare his 2009 with 1st basemen from other years if you like. below. average.

notsureifsrs
4 years 4 months ago

and for funsies, since you don’t think stats by position are “useful”, i checked him compared to the entire league in 2009: his wOBA was 109th of 154 qualified players

and since i get the feeling you are going to say something super clever about how wOBA is evil devil magic and not a real stat, you should know that his .756 OPS (from the slash line you cited) was also 109th league-wide in 2009