Non-Tenders Contributing With New Teams

Most non-tenders don’t come back to haunt their former clubs, but they definitely have the potential to do so. Valuable players such as Alfredo Aceves, Russell Martin and Edwin Encarnacion have been non-tendered in recent years, to name a few.

Every winter teams non-tender players for a variety of reasons. Sometimes the clubs would rather risk losing the players to rival teams than go through the potentially expensive arbitration process. In other cases, teams don't have 40-man roster spots to spare or they view players as injury risks.

Teams non-tendered 29 players last offseason and a handful of them have added value for their current organizations. Here’s a look at some 2011 non-tenders who are contributing so far in 2012 (minimum 10 innings pitched or 25 plate appearances):

  • Jose Mijares, Royals (non-tendered by the Twins) – The 27-year-old has a 2.45 ERA with 8.6 K/9 and 1.8 BB/9 in 14 2/3 innings for the Royals. Mijares could become a midseason trade candidate, as teams are sure to be seeking left-handed relievers this summer.
  • Luke Scott, Rays (non-tendered by the Orioles) – You can't fault the Orioles for non-tendering Scott, who struggled through shoulder problems in 2011 and would have earned $6.4MM or more through arbitration. But the Rays are enjoying his power: seven homers and a .238/.296/.514 batting line.
  • Joe Saunders, Diamondbacks (non-tendered by the Diamondbacks) – The Diamondbacks non-tendered Saunders, then re-signed him to a one-year deal. He has rewarded them with a 3.43 ERA through 44 2/3 innings.
  • Mike Baxter, Mets (non-tendered by the Mets) – The Mets removed Baxter from the 40-man roster at the non-tender deadline before re-signing him to a minor league deal a few days later. He has a .990 OPS as a corner outfielder through his first 31 plate appearances of the season.
  • Jeff Keppinger, Rays (non-tendered by the Giants) – The versatile Keppinger has appeared at first, second and third base while posting a .291/.321/.405 batting line with his new team. Manager Joe Maddon finds playing time for Keppinger when the Rays are up against left-handed pitching.


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21 Responses to Non-Tenders Contributing With New Teams Leave a Reply

  1. johnsilver 3 years ago

    Boston’s own Rich “thrill” Hill probably will be a profitable non tender to either them, or as a trade chip in another couple of months. Very tough on lefties, he seems to have all of his velocity back from his TJ surgery and that new delivery he had come up with prior makes him very nasty.

    Someone will come calling if they look for a buyer.

    • kvnp12 3 years ago

      No way.. Sox won’t rely on Morales and Miller as their lefty specialist. They lost Justin Thomas and Pawtucket is all RHP. Nice theory, but it’s unlikely. 

      • johnsilver 3 years ago

        If they slip back out of contention they will move him, but if they remain in the playoff hunt he will definitely remain is how that post was supposed to have read.

        Hill developed a really nasty curveball and dropped his delivery angle down just before he blew his arm out last season. If he remains healthy, he will be most coveted should he get put on the market.

        • kvnp12 3 years ago

          I don’t think they relinquish him regardless of where they’re at during playoff contention. The man can pitch and they will need him for years to come. 

    • Please, no getting rid of Rich Hill. The man can pitch, and he’s only going to improve with time. Instead, keep him aand go after Mijares.

  2. Casey McMahon 3 years ago

    The Rays always turn a Non Tender into a useful player. Look at Carlos Pena as a example.

    • johnsilver 3 years ago

       Agree there.. Boston had Pena and wanted the local product to get a chance, but they already had 2 good bats to DH and play 1b ahead of him.. Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz.. Still glad good guy Pena finally developed and hope he retires as a Ray.. He might have to dump that agent of his to do so however.

      • A note about Pena. He was on the Sox roster at the end of ’06. He was let go, where he proceeded to hit 41 HR’s the next year with the rival Rays, followed by several more good seasons. As a local product, he was given up to soon. Chalk it up as another Theo blunder.

        • johnsilver 3 years ago

           How was it a blunder?? Was he going to play over Youkilis or ortiz? Move Youk back to 3b and trade Lowel, who at that time was still a productive bat and a good 3b defensively?

          Pena then was still unproven and a wild swinger. That theory holds no water of yours.

          • chico65 3 years ago

            Ha ha ha. Hindsight tends to be quite sharp, doesn’t it John?  Ted Williams territory sometimes, apparently.

          • johnsilver 3 years ago

             My sentiments exactly Chico. Same with the ones who always blame boston for waiting so long in the 1st place for even bringing up Youk when they had Lowell, Millar, Mueller and ortiz.. It was no wonder Youk was almost 27 before he got a full time job..

            A team has powerful bats at positions and you don’t just throw unproven ones into a lineup, even ones like Youk and Pena who eventually become good hitters.

        • notsureifsrs 3 years ago

          exactly. it’s not as if theo ever brought in an underperforming 1B who went on to hit 40 HR

  3. SublimeOne 3 years ago

    Wouldn’t Mike Baxter be excluded from this list based on the “New Teams” criteria?  

  4. Actually, the batting line for Keppinger is screwed up on BB-Ref right now.  His OPS is actually .461, based on the summing of the games played.  The data in the splits area is doubled of his game data, but, of course, still .461 OPS there as well, confirming the games data stats (which you have to sum; the total given there is the incorrect data in his record).  

    Furthermore, assuming that positive fielding WAR is correct, that cannot be expected to continue, his history is one of stone hands and statue fielding, with severely negative fielding runs “saved”, negating a large portion of the offensive contributions he does make.  Not that he’s been that good a hitter, except at hitters parks like Cincy and Houston.

    So it looks like the Giants made the right decision to non-tender him.  But he seems to be a nice guy, so I hope he does well, wherever he ends up.  Just not likely, given his track record.

    • Not sure Houston is a hitting park, and the Giants could sure use his bat and versatility right now.

    • buddaley 3 years ago

       I am not sure what you are saying. Keppinger’s OPS is .726. He has hit lefties very well to the tune of a .945 OPS. Against righties, he has just a .570 OPS. In fact, he has been a useful player for the Rays.

  5. J. Alora 3 years ago

    It seems completely bizarre that the Giants non-tendered Keppinger and ditched Fontenot to keep Burriss and Theriot. I guess when you really need to save a couple million bucks…

  6. Damon Bowman 3 years ago

    You’re underselling Luke Scott.  His base from 2011 was $6.4 and if he went to arbitration, it’s a pretty safe bet he would have surpassed $7 million for 2012.  While it was an easy call for the Orioles to cut him loose, I still think the Rays overpaid at $5 million for ’12 with a $6 million option for ’13.  Scott has to prove he can stay healthy for 140 games to be worth that scratch. He’s only played one season of more than 132 games (2008) and only took the field for 64 in ’11.

    • ugen64 3 years ago

      Even with his injuries, he was generally a >2 WAR player for Baltimore (4 out of 6 seasons). I thought it was a good deal for the Rays because they are generally a very good defensive team, so they can afford to carry a full-time DH / emergency outfielder (and he’s certainly still a better defender than someone like Damon or Vlad).

      • Damon Bowman 3 years ago

        Yes, and no.  I see where you’re coming from with the WAR number and that kinda makes sense.  But is $5 million on a team payroll of just under $65 million sensible?  They’ve got a bunch of talent in the minors in Tampa — why not focus on the youth instead?  He’s certainly better than Vlad or Damon at this point, but what about ensuring Joyce, Zobrist, Upton, and Jennings are in the lineup everyday?

  7. 0vercast 3 years ago

    It appears Mijares is motivated for once.

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