Some non-tendered players end up performing like stars in new cities, but the best contract offer possible is sometimes the one a team doesn't make. Here's a look at five players who were non-tendered last year and impacted the 2010 pennant race:
- Matt Capps – Capps has been excellent in 24 appearances for the Twins since coming over in a deal that sent catching prospect Wilson Ramos to Washington. The Pirates non-tendered Capps last December and the Twins and Nationals profit because of Pittsburgh's decision.
- Dustin Moseley – Hey, he's pitched 60.1 innings for one of the best teams in baseball and even stepped into a starting role when Andy Pettitte went down. The Angels’ decision to non-tender Moseley isn’t necessarily one they would like to do over, but the swingman has added value for the Bronx Bombers, posting a 4.77 ERA so far.
- Jonny Gomes – The Reds non-tendered Gomes only to re-sign him later in the offseason. The left fielder has a .761 OPS and 17 homers for the playoff-bound Reds.
- Garrett Atkins – The Rockies guaranteed the combination of Melvin Mora, Jason Giambi and Miguel Olivo less than it would have cost to retain Atkins through arbitration. Instead of paying Atkins more than $7MM, GM Dan O'Dowd wisely non-tendered him and spent on other needs.
- Kelly Johnson – Omar Infante and Martin Prado have produced well, so the decision to non-tender Johnson didn't necessarily hurt the Braves. Still, we can say with confidence that this year's Braves team would have seemed much different with more of Johnson (25 homers and .860 OPS in Arizona) and less of Prado and Infante.