MLBTR is the hottest spot on the internet for all your arbitration needs! I know, I know … bold marketing statement. But it’s true. We take the arb process seriously in these parts, from essential arbitration projections to detailed breakdowns to in-time coverage of the market as it unfolds. (Wondering about those projections? No doubt we’ll be aiming again for an early-October release.)
We also understand that the arb process is a bit of a wonky niche in the baseball transactional world. Even big hearing victories like these barely register on the news wire. But they are still quite important. And many smaller decisions are as well. If you’re the type who appreciates this sort of thing … well, that’s why you’re here.
Anyway, that’s all a bit of background to help explain why I thought it’d be worthwhile to follow up on a few notable players who were non-tendered (or designated just before the tender deadline) by their teams last fall. I even invented a new term, “re-tendered,” to encapsulate players who go from being non-tendered one year to offered arbitration again with another team. (Exciting times, I know.) This doesn’t work for non-tendered players who have already exhausted their arb eligibility (hence, no Avisail Garcia). We also won’t list players who are not yet arb-eligible but were non-tendered last fall (it’s possible for pre-arb players, too; Adrian Sampson is a possible example).
Tim Beckham would’ve been a prime candidate but for his recent PED suspension. Here are six remaining re-tender candidates:
Derek Dietrich, INF, Reds: Okay, he wasn’t technically non-tendered. But Dietrich was designated by the Marlins just before the non-tender deadline, so he’s in. Dietrich ended up on a minors deal in Cincinnati that pays $2MM in the bigs. He has repaid that handsomely, with 273 plate appearances of .207/.349/.514 hitting. While he hasn’t maintained an early storm of productivity, Dietrich remains a plausible tender candidate for 2020.
James McCann, C, White Sox: Another player who has faded after a blistering start, McCann still seems an easy tender choice for the White Sox. That’s a bummer for the division-rival Tigers, who finally decided to cut him loose. McCann owns a .282/.338/.458 batting line with a dozen long balls in 335 plate appearances.
Matt Shoemaker, SP, Blue Jays: He is nearing his 33rd birthday and has been hurt an awful lot — including an ACL tear that cost him the bulk of the present campaign. But Shoemaker has talent, as evidenced by the 1.57 ERA he posted in five starts before shredding his knee. He signed with the pitching-needy Jays for $3.5MM over the winter after the Angels non-tendered him. Perhaps the Toronto organization will double down, bettering that a lengthy respite for Shoemaker’s right arm will help him finally bounce back in full in 2020.
Hunter Strickland, RP, Nationals: Another player who was DFA’ed just before the arb decision point, the former Giants late-inning man signed in Seattle for $1.3MM and ended up in D.C. on deadline day. Strickland hasn’t actually thrown many innings this season due to injury, but a solid showing down the stretch could make him a keeper for a Nats club that will be looking to fill multiple bullpen vacancies over the offseason to come.
Blake Parker, RP, Phillies: Non-tendered by the Angels and inked for $1.8MM by the Twins, Parker sacrificed the remainder of his guaranteed salary when he elected free agency after he was cut loose by the Minnesota org earlier this season. He has already coughed up four earned runs on two long balls in five innings in Philly. The thing is, the Philadelphia organization is facing a strain on its relief unit and has good reason to keep running Parker out there. He has run up eight strikeouts without a walk thus far in Philly. While his velocity has continued to trail off, it’s still imaginable he’ll end up being worth a relatively affordable tender this fall.
Chris Herrmann, C, Athletics: It’s too soon to say on Herrmann, who’s earning just $1MM in Oakland after being non-tendered by the Astros following an offseason deal from the Mariners. He hasn’t hit a ton since making it back from a long injured list stint, but Herrmann has a nice opportunity ahead of him down the stretch. It’s certainly possible to imagine he’ll show the A’s enough to warrant a tender. You could throw teammate Robbie Grossman on this list, too, though he has produced tepid numbers in a much lengthier sample this year.
Did I miss anyone? Let me know in the comments!