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Early Non-Tender Candidates

We're more than three months away from the non-tender deadline, but many teams are certainly pondering the status of their arbitration eligible players.  For example, it's possible that the Twins sent Delmon Young packing this week because they did not intend to tender him a contract in December.  Let's take a look at a few prominent non-tender candidates, while acknowledging that the season is far from over.

  • Luke Scott, Orioles: Scott's season, cut short by July shoulder surgery, wouldn't necessitate a big raise.  But he'd probably get some kind of increase and he's already at $6.4MM, so it's likely he hits the free agent market. 
  • James Loney, Dodgers: He's likely to become a free agent at age 27, as the Dodgers will not want to pay him $5MM after the season he's had.
  • Casey McGehee, Brewers: He's had a nice August and could still finish the season on a high note.  My gut says he will be tendered a contract.  However, his career body of work could lead to a $3MM arbitration salary, so the Brewers have to decide whether he'll be worth it.
  • Ian Stewart, Rockies: Stewart will be earning at least $1.8MM next year if he's tendered a contract and not cut in Spring Training.  His track record and work at Triple-A this year suggest some team would strike a deal for him and the Rockies won't have to non-tender him.
  • Ryan Theriot, Cardinals: A non-tender candidate last offseason, Theriot received a $700K raise following a season pretty similar to this one.  The Cards might not want him at a salary above his current $3.3MM.
  • Andres Torres, Giants: He's had a couple of DL stints and has not approached his offensive production from 2010.  He's operating from a $2.2MM salary and the Giants could let him go.
  • Angel Pagan, Mets: Like Torres, Pagan has fallen off big-time this year.  His current salary is $3.5MM.
  • Tom Gorzelanny, Nationals: His strikeout and walk numbers are solid but the Nationals booted him from the rotation.  With his $2.1MM salary on the rise they may not keep him around.
  • Mike Pelfrey, Mets: His salary next year could be around $6MM, and the Mets have to decide whether that's good value for a back-end rotation type.
  • Jonathan Sanchez, Giants: While it's hard to picture the Giants losing Sanchez for nothing, he took a step backward this year and would surely earn more than $6MM in 2012.  
  • Kevin Slowey, Twins: I doubt Slowey is in the Twins organization next year, but at a mild raise from this year's $2.7MM they should be able to find a taker.
  • Luke Hochevar, Royals: Is it time to pull the plug?  Hochevar is due a raise on this year's $1.76MM but has made little progress from last year.
  • David Aardsma, Mariners: He had Tommy John surgery in July and would earn at least $3.6MM in arbitration, so he's probably headed for free agency.
  • Tony Pena, White Sox: He appears headed for Tommy John and is a likely non-tender.


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