With the non-tender deadline set for tonight at 8pm ET, expect to see quite a few players avoid arbitration today — specifically those who stood out as possible non-tender candidates. You can check out the full list of projected arbitration salaries from MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz here, and we’ll run down the list of players to duck arbitration in this post…
- Lefty Wade LeBlanc and the Pirates have avoided arbitration by agreeing to a one-year deal worth $800K, according to FanRag’s Jon Heyman (on Twitter). Leblanc will make $750K in 2017, and his contract contains an option for the 2018 season that is valued at $1.25MM and comes with a $50K buyout. The veteran southpaw logged a 4.50 ERA in 50 innings for the Mariners last year before being traded to the Buccos, where he allowed one run in 12 innings of work with a 10-to-2 K/BB ratio. The 62 innings Leblanc logged last year were the most he’s pitched in a big league season since 2012. He’s controllable through the 2019 season and would be arbitration-eligible once more if the Pirates exercise their 2018 option on him.
- The Mets and catcher Rene Rivera agreed to a one-year deal worth $1.75MM, Heyman tweets. The 33-year-old signed a minor league deal with the Mets last summer and eventually found his way onto the big league roster due to a combination of injuries and struggles from backstops Travis d’Arnaud and Kevin Plawecki. While Rivera didn’t hit much — .222/.291/.341 in 207 plate appearances — he’s a strong defensive backstop and gives the Mets a glove-first option to back up either d’Arnaud or Plawecki (presumably the former, who has been the team’s starter when healthy in recent years).
- Outfielder Kirk Nieuwenhuis and the Brewers settled on a split contract that pays the veteran $900K in the Majors and $257K in the minors (Heyman again, on Twitter). The 29-year-old picked up 392 plate appearances in 125 games with Milwaukee, batting just .209 but logging a .324 OBP and slugging .385. The 13 homers Nieuwenhuis hit were far and away a career-best — he entered the year with just 17 home runs in 693 PAs — and he contributed solid defense across all three outfield spots.