With the non-tender deadline coming today at 7pm CT, expect quite a few players to agree to contracts for the 2021 season, avoiding arbitration in advance. In many (but not all) cases, these deals — referred to as “pre-tender” deals because they fall prior to the deadline — will fall shy of expectations and projections. Teams will sometimes present borderline non-tender candidates with a “take it or leave it” style offer which will be accepted for fear of being non-tendered and sent out into an uncertain market. Speculatively, such deals could increase in 2020 due to the economic uncertainty sweeping through the game, although there are also widespread expectations of record non-tender numbers.
You can track all of the arbitration and non-tender activity here, and we’ll also run through today’s smaller-scale pre-tender deals in this post. You can also check out Matt Swartz’s arbitration salary projections here.
- The Giants have a $1.275MM agreement with first baseman/outfielder Darin Ruf, Schulman tweets.
- Pirates righty Jameson Taillon will earn $2.25MM in 2021, Adam Berry of MLB.com tweets. Taillon didn’t pitch at all in 2020 after undergoing Tommy John surgery in August 2019. Reliever Michael Feliz will get $1MM, Jason Mackey of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.
- Twins righty Jose Berrios will earn $6.1MM with a $500K signing bonus in 2021, Dan Hayes of The Athletic reports. Catcher Mitch Garver will rake in $1.875MM, per Darren Wolfson of 5 Eyewitness News. Center fielder Byron Buxton ($5.125MM) and reliever Taylor Rogers (terms not released) also agreed to deals, according to Phil Miller of the Star Tribune.
- The Phillies have deals with starter Zach Eflin ($4.45MM) and relievers Hector Neris ($5MM), David Hale ($850K) and Seranthony Dominguez ($727,500), Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia, Heyman and Todd Zolecki of MLB.com relay.
- The Marlins and first baseman Garrett Cooper have a $1.8MM agreement that could max out at $2.05MM with performance bonuses, Craig Mish of Sportsgrid tweets.
- The Brewers are keeping catcher Manny Pina in the fold for $1.65MM, according to Heyman. They’re also retaining first baseman Daniel Vogelbach for $1.4MM, Nightengale reports.
- The Giants and outfielder Austin Slater have a one-year, $1.15MM deal, per Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle.The club also reached a $925K agreement with lefty Wandy Peralta and a $700K pact with righty Trevor Gott, Heyman tweets.
- The Cubs are bringing back hurlers Dan Winkler ($900K), Colin Rea ($702,500) and Kyle Ryan ($800K), Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times reports. Ryan’s agreement is a split contract that features a $250K minor league salary.
- The Mets are retaining lefty Steven Matz for $5.2MM, Nightengale tweets. Matz had a brutal campaign in 2020 with a 9.68 ERA/7.76 FIP over 30 2/3 innings in 2020, but the Mets will give him a chance to rebound.
- The Padres and lefty Matt Strahm have a one-year, $2MM deal, Nightengale reports. Strahm gave the Padres a 2.61 ERA/4.93 FIP in 20 2/3 innings in 2020.
- Outfielder Guillermo Heredia, whom the Mets claimed from Pittsburgh in August, will earn $1MM in 2021, according to Nightengale.
- The Astros and reliever Austin Pruitt have settled for $617, 500, per Heyman. The right-hander missed the season with elbow issues.
- The Royals and outfielder Jorge Soler have agreed to a one-year, $8.05MM deal with $250K in incentives, Nightengale reports. Soler was a 48-home run hitter in 2019, but his production went backward this past season, in which he slashed .228/.326/.443 with eight HRs in 174 trips to the plate.
- The Red Sox have kept relievers Matt Barnes ($4.4MM) and Ryan Brasier ($1.25MM) and catcher Kevin Plawecki ($1.6MM), per tweets from Nightengale, Robert Murray of FanSided and Heyman. Barnes has been a solid reliever as a member of the Red Sox, though he yielded more than five walks per nine and upward of four runs per nine in 2020. Brasier was more successful this past season, as he tossed 25 frames of 3.96 ERA/3.15 FIP ball and averaged better than 10 strikeouts per nine. Plawecki had a nice year as the backup to Christian Vazquez, as he batted .341/.393/.463 in 89 PA.
- The Giants and southpaw Jarlin Garcia have settled for $950K, according to Heyman. Garcia is coming off an 18 1/3-inning effort in which he posted a near-perfect 0.49 (with an impressive 3.14 FIP) and 6.87 K/9 against 3.44 BB/9.
- The Marlins have agreed to a one-year, $4.3MM deal with first baseman Jesus Aguilar, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets. The 30-year-old slugger put up strong numbers in his first year with the Fish, slashing .277/.352/.457 with eight long balls in 216 plate appearances.
- The Giants and outfielder Alex Dickerson settled at a year and $2MM, tweets Nightengale. The 30-year-old slugger has a lengthy injury history but has been excellent in limited work with the Giants, including a .298/.371/.576 slash in 170 plate appearances this past season.
- Luis Cessa will be back with the Yankees on a one-year deal, tweets Nightengale. He’ll earn $1.05MM. The righty notched a 3.32 ERA and 3.79 FIP with a 17-to-7 K/BB ratio in 21 2/3 innings this past season. Fellow righty Ben Heller will also return, the team announced, though it didn’t disclose financial details.
- First baseman Matt Olson and the Athletics settled on a one-year deal worth $5MM, tweets Nightengale. The 26-year-old Olson’s .198/.310/.424 slash was an obvious step back from his 2019 campaign, but he’s still viewed as a vital part of the club’s future moving forward.
- The Braves and righty Luke Jackson agreed to a one-year deal, tweets MLB Network’s Jon Heyman. The 29-year-old was rocked for a 6.84 ERA in this year’s shortened slate of games but posted a 3.84 ERA and 3.24 FIP with better than 13 K/9 as one of the team’s steadiest relievers in 2019. The contract is valued at $1.9MM, per a team announcement.
- The Brewers are bringing back catcher Omar Narvaez for one year and $2.5MM, Heyman tweets. Narvaez was a very good offensive catcher from 2o16-19 with the White Sox and Mariners, but he struggled last season after the M’s traded him to the Brewers. Thanks in part to a career-worst 31 percent strikeout rate, Narvaez could only muster a .176/.294/.269 line and a paltry two HRs in 126 plate appearances. Nevertheless, he’s in line to return to the Brewers for a second season.
- The Brewers have agreed to a one-year, $2MM contract with shortstop Orlando Arcia, Nightengale relays. Arcia endured serious struggles on offense in prior years, but the 26-year-old managed a respectable .260/.317/.416 line with five home runs over 189 plate appearances this past season.
- The Phillies and catcher Andrew Knapp have reached a one-year, $1.1MM agreement, per Nightengale. Typically a light-hitting backstop, Knapp batted a career-best .278/.404/.444 in 89 plate appearances in 2020. He’s currently the No. 1 catcher on a Phillies team that could lose J.T. Realmuto in free agency.
- Pirates infielder Erik Gonzalez agreed to a one-year deal worth $1.225MM, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets. It was the second year of arb eligibility for Gonzalez, whose glovework will earn him a contract despite a brutal .227/.255/.359 batting line in 193 plate appearances in 2020.
- The Royals and Hunter Dozier agreed to a one-year deal worth $2.72MM in entirely guaranteed money, MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports. More is available to Dozier via contract incentives. Dozier hit .228/.344/.392 over 186 PA after missing over the first two weeks of the season recovering from a positive COVID-19 diagnosis.
- The Red Sox agreed to an $870K deal with right-hander Austin Brice for the 2021 season, as per Nightengale. Brice posted a 5.95 ERA, 11.4 K/9, and 5.9 BB/9 over 19 2/3 innings in his first season in Boston, and was considered a potential non-tender candidate.
- The Twins and righty Tyler Duffey agreed to a one-year, $2.2MM pact, SKOR North’s Darren Wolfson reports. According to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney, Duffey’s deal is fully guaranteed.
- The Braves agreed to a one-year, $900K deal with southpaw Grant Dayton, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets. Dayton had a 2.30 ERA over 27 1/3 innings in 2020.
- The Braves announced an agreement with utilityman Johan Camargo on a one-year, $1.36MM deal. Camargo was thought to be a non-tender candidate after struggling to a .222/.267/.378 slash line in 375 plate appearances over the last two seasons, but he will return for a fifth year in Atlanta.
- The White Sox and left-hander Jace Fry agreed to a one-year deal worth $862.5K, according to MLB Network’s Jon Heyman (Twitter link). Fry posted a 3.66 ERA, 2.00 K/BB rate, and 11.0 K/9 over 19 2/3 innings in 2020, and he has strong overall career numbers against left-handed batters.
- The Orioles agreed with second baseman Yolmer Sanchez on a one-year deal worth $1MM, according to MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand (via Twitter). Baltimore claimed Sanchez off waivers from the White Sox at the end of October. A Gold Glove winner in 2019, Sanchez was non-tendered by Chicago prior to last year’s deadline, though after signing a minors deal with the Giants, he returned to the White Sox on another minors deal and appeared in 11 games on the South Side.
- The Twins agreed to a one-year deal worth roughly $700K with left-hander Caleb Thielbar, The Athletic’s Aaron Gleeman reports (via Twitter). 2020 marked Thielbar’s first taste of MLB action since 2015, as the southpaw worked his way back from independent ball to post a 2.25 ERA, 2.44 K/BB rate, and 9.9 K/9 over 20 innings for Minnesota.
- The Dodgers and left-hander Scott Alexander have agreed to a one-year, $1MM deal, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports (Twitter link). Alexander posted a 2.92 ERA over 12 1/3 innings out of the Los Angeles bullpen this season, recording an equal number of walks and strikeouts (nine). The southpaw was thought to be a potential non-tender candidate given his relative lack of usage and his non-inclusion on the Dodgers’ playoff roster, but the team will retain Alexander for his second arb-eligible year. ESPN.com’s Buster Olney (via Twitter) adds the noteworthy detail that Alexander’s $1MM salary is fully guaranteed, as opposed to the usual contracts for arbitration-eligible players that allow their teams to release them prior to Opening Day and only pay a fraction of the agreed-upon salary.
Hope they will re-sign Dylan Floro too
FredMcGriff for the HOF
I was hoping the Braves would non tender Camargo. He has gotten progressively worse the last 2 years. It seems to be a attitude issue.
Camargo came in the best shape ever last preseason and was doing great in spring training. He has never complained about playing time either. Not sure where the ‘attitude’ issue comes from. I’m glad they were able to bring him back at a lower than his expected 2M price. It’s a win-win for both sides, hopefully he has a great start in his last arbitration year
I agree he makes a great bench player, If him or Riley could start hitting on a regular basis we could put them at third, But until then i think we need to address 3rd base this off season
FredMcGriff for the HOF
I’d rather play Riley everyday over Camargo. Way more power potential.
All you have to do is look at his body language and how lazy he is when running out a grounder. Plus, he is always pouting. He’s a worthless hack.
Dang someone hates Camargo. I was hoping he was non tendered too but I’ve never seen him complain!
No Jackson is the one I wish was non tendered. I remember him blowing up games. Camargo didn’t get enough plate appearances to give a sample size. He’s good and supposedly he’s good in the clubhouse with Acuna and albies.
Floro less likely to be non-tendered, Dodgers will resign but may not happen today.
player, as in one
Read carefully, as in all the words in an article.
was only one, at first. added more to article. i was an earlybird
Maybe the early bird should wait before being critical. MLBTR routinely creates posts to which they will be adding later.
Alexander is solid. Figured he’d stick around.
If Floro is cut loose, the Angels should be all over the Fullerton kid. But he won’t be.
Alexander has been serviceable, when he’s been able to pitch. Too inconsistent to be called solid, and his being left off the playoff roster tells the story about how the Dodgers view him. Floro is another serviceable reliever. He has one wicked pitch and bouts of not being able to locate it. They’re fine to keep around but the Dodgers still need to replace some of the more important bullpen arms they lost.
Dodgers are stacked. Both guys would be welcome additions many places, including here.
last time i checked they haven’t lost any of their bp arms
No chance they non tenure Floro. He was decent last season.
Even if they don’t pitch for the Dodgers again, both were serviceable enough to tender and then trade later in the off-season
When did the O’s get Sánchez?
Nvm. I just didn’t know that he was claimed off waivers
End of October.
He will be back with White Sox before he retires… and with a White Sox WS ring!
May you clarify how to determine if these deals are guaranteed? It seems in the comments on the 12/1 post that they’re all guaranteed if they sign a contract to avoid arbitration, but when would a contract be only partially guaranteed? If arbitration went to a hearing?
Contracts are guaranteed once both parties agree to terms. If the case goes to arbitration, then the third-party arbiter decides the terms. Those terms are then guaranteed.
Thanks! Which players can be cut loose in spring training with 30 days’ pay?
Except they aren’t fully guaranteed. There are deadlines in which a team can cut a player before the start of the official season, and pay a portion of salary. Once the season hits contracts are fully guaranteed, but no arb contracts are not guaranteed, unless involving an extension.
I’m pretty sure if the player is within a certain amount of service time they can still be cut loose with only 30 days pay if they are cut in camp even if they avoid arbitration. I may be off-base here but I think Arb-avoiding deals are split contracts without the salary being fully guaranteed unless the make the opening day roster.
You’re absolutely correct. I didn’t know that.
I think the Assumption that the safest is that the arbitration contracts are not guaranteed, unless it specifies that they are fully guaranteed. The fact that Buster made that specific comment about Alexander’s deal makes me lean this way with the most confidence
Alexander and Floro are nice bullpen depth.
Revenues are down this year but Guggenheim isn’t feeling it.
More TV money coming next year too.
This is the year Friedman should blow past the luxury tax.
Sign the best relievers (Hendricks, Hand, Yates) to short term deals and trade a young arm and bat for Lindor, Arenado, Bryant or Correa.
No position on the Dodgers for Lindor to play, and if the Rockies are really serious about moving Arenado it will be a pure salary relief play unless they kick in a serious amount of cash. His contract is deep under water. I agree about the relievers though. They need to go after at least two of the top drawer guys.
Yeah I can’t see how Lindor fits on the team. Moving Seager to 3B doesn’t seem likely..even though it has been speculated for years because of his big frame, he’s had a solid glove SS..and shifting him to 3B in his platform year to free agency doesn’t bode well for the Dodgers chances of re-signing him.
Gotta think the Dodgers are all over the relief market like a rash. They have to continue to look at the bullpen as an unfinished product.
Above all..what a great time to be a Dodgers fan. Your years of patience has been rewarded, BlueSky.
Signing Seager to an extension would solve that.
Lindor at 2nd would work too.
The options aren’t limited with those 2
What do you mean, it’s been a great time to he a Dodgers fan. Just because they won a world series doesnt mean they just suddenly became relevant..
It’s been a great last several years if you’re a Dodgers fan..
Who sez I was patient? Seriously, I am lot more patient now that the deed is done and the goat has been chased away.
On Seager we’ve been hearing the talk of him moving to 3B since the day he was drafted. He may actually end up there some day, but now is not that time. He’s playing SS better now than at any time in his career, since he got his elbow and knee fixed up. I don’t know where the Lindor train came from but it hasn’t left the station.
I understand the idea that out soon to be free agent would not want to suck at a new position position, but withthis years free agent market with five shortstops, I do not feel like it’s a bad thing if a guy can prove he can play another position. Yes shortstop is the one of the highest demand positions but not every team wants to spend $30 million there
Show you can be a 3B or 2B, that broadens your market
Lindor at second? He’s got a heck of a glove from short, and enough of an arm to stick to that side. He doesn’t fit in LA. He’s about to get a couple truckloads of money so doesn’t work for the dodgers
I get what you’re saying bravesfan88, but from a Dodgers perspective..all of that recent success needed to lead to a championship. And the relief of that happening is very real. It’s a high bar to set, but they lived up to it.
Friedman knows you can’t have too many SS.
Lindor and Seager could be moved if that’s what their boss needs.
Acting like a SS doesn’t have a position is silly.
I agree about Arenado though
He also knows that he has preached the importance of a clubhouse since he took the job. It’s just not going to happen like that. If they are trading for Lindor, Seager is out the door. Being on a walk year to boot. This is trying to get way to cute, which is why it is unrealistic.
You don’t trade for a player whose value is wrapped up in gold glove work at a premium position just to move him someplace else. It makes no sense. If Lindor gets traded it will be to a team in need of a SS if only because that’s the team that will be willing to pay the freight to get him.
Dodgers have the freight to get him and he checks all the boxes.
Friedman is more analytical than your mindset,
I’m saying it will happen, I’m saying it should be explored.
All what boxes, exactly? No matter what you might think of Friedman, he doesn’t have the skill of suspending reality. In the case of Lindor, the reality is the team that can use him at the premium position he plays at a very high level is the one that will make the best trade offer. The Dodgers are not that team.
Why do you talk like that?
Your opinion is often wrong and is expressed more than anybody else’s here over the last 5+ years.
You drag down the level of conversation around my dodgers, constantly.
I’m glad we have the know-it-all blue skies to tell us how the future will be.
Why do you respond to arguments with personal insults?
@blueskies, I hope you’re right (for obvious reasons)!!
To your post above about Lindor
@crypto, as a Giants fan, I appreciate BlueSkies. He (assumption on gender) posts reasonable, well thought out posts,
is respectful, and doesn’t worship the Dodgers to the point that others opinions (like from a Giants fan) have no place. Further , never once have I heard him refer to the Dodgers as “my Dodgers.”
You’re such a victim
My dodgers is no different than me saying I’m a fan of the team.
You know I don’t really think I own them.
I’m glad you dig his trolling.
I’ve seen many people mention his attitude and it’s constantly attacking.
I’m one of 50 who have spoke up about this guy over the years.
No position for Lindor? Ridiculous! I bet even the Padres would find a way to play Lindor if they could get him.
You have to think ahead when you’re a GM.
Who would you rather give a long term big money contract to, the shortstop who is one of the top five all around players in the game today or the guy who’s a really good player with an injury history?
Imagine having a core of Betts Lindor and Bellinger for the next ten seasons.
The Betts trade didn’t make a great deal of sense at the time for the Dodgers but they pulled the trigger and then signed him long term.They could easily do the same with Lindor.The cost in talent will be minimized as well because of the times we’re in.
If Seager doesn’t want to play third base for a championship club that’s up to him,but ARod moved to third when he joined the Yankees and flourished.
You hit the nail on the head. I love Seager’s game, but he has history of injuries, and if you have a chance to trade for a top 5 talent, you take that chance! If Seager doesn’t want to move over to 3b, then you include him in that trade package.
Sell me on the idea of including Seager in a package for Lindor..even though everyone (but you) knows the Dodgers wouldn’t even do a straight Seager-Lindor trade. I’d love to hear how you put that pitch together in your head.
You’re too smort.
Seriously the market is suppressed and the dodgers are sitting flush.
Yesterday the Guggenheim group announced they’re dropping $500 million in a single Bitcoin investment.
This economic downturn is how they make money.
These Wall Street guys love buying cheap assets.
They know their money is worth more when no one is spending.
Correa would never go to LA, especially after the 2017 situation, and then Joe Kelly being a baby, which by the way, is a good reason Kelly is in LA lol
Good Sox signing for Jace Fry!
Yeah – I guess. He is quite frustrating though – he has an unhittable slider, and whenever he gets it over or near the plate, he strikes guys out. Can’t throw strikes consistently though, so very tough to see him repeatedly miss with the first pitch curveball.
New pitching coach may help control.
Making < $1 mil
On the spreadsheet can you list if the contract is guaranteed or non-guaranteed.
I don’t like the arbitration process. I appreciate the teams that make a concerted effort to avoid the process by agreeing to terms beforehand. More cost certainty for them and preserves the relationship with the player. Plus, it’s something the player agrees to, rather than is forced into if the club wins.
It was important for the Red Sox to sign Brice….you can’t find a reliever with a 6.00 ERA just anywhere…..
Brice will never win fireman of the year, but 2020 was a very small sample size…
Games – 36
Innings – 44 2/3
ERA – 3.43
WHIP – 1.23
….are not horrible numbers and not 5.95 era like 2020
The Red Sox signed Brice, Brasier, Rodriguez, Barnes, and Plawecki, which is everyone except Devers. I would assume the RS front office will announce a multi year deal with Devers as they have done with several other players recently.
Gonzalez shows flashes of being able to hit. He had a solid September in 2019 and even had a 112 plate appearance stretch in 2020 where he had a .862. His hard hit rate was in the top 76th percentile in baseball last year, so you’d think there’s some hope for his bat. Hopefully the Pirates are able to trade Frazier. They have a cluster of middle infielders at the major league level who deserve to get at least a look.
Please, please, please Braves, do not tender a contract to Luke Jackson.
FredMcGriff for the HOF
I agree skyrider. I was surprised they gave Dayton a contract considering he got lit up in the postseason (he has a history of that in the postseason actually). I have seen enough of Luke…
FredMcGriff for the HOF
I just seen they gave Luke 1.9 million….. So they cut a good relief pitcher (o day) being cheap and then keep this guy. SMH!
I’m in the wrong profession. Apparently giving up 3-5 runs on a consistent basis grants you a 1.9 million dollar contract.
That Camargo contract is a waste. He’s awful.
I’m glad Jesus Aguilar got resigned. At this point, I’d sell high on Garrett Cooper. Dude can rake but is super injury prone.
It’s a shame that we still are waiting for a full healthy season from Cooper.
Aguilar was a big deal to the Marlins last season. He got cold a lot and his overall line is good and all…but in the clubhouse on the field his personality was infectious. I believe he wants to be in Miami after some teams gave up on him. I’m very pleased he is back.
Craig Mish says there will be another
Happy to see Aguilar (MIA) & Cessa (NYY) get tendered contracts.
Thought Mets would cut Matz & Gsellman while retaining Shreve & Heredia. Nearly the opposite happened.
The Wilpon’s would have non-tendered Matz. Cohen can keep him and hope for a rebound. Just what a big market team should do.
As reported earlier, Aguilar was generating trade interest which is likely why he gets tendered. Probably signed and flipped like BAL did with Iglesias.
Puke Jackson? Really? Ugh…How the heck is O’Day let go but Puke is brought back?
several teams making questionable arb decisions and the Phillies arent. keeping Neris isnt cheap. remember this Middleton haters.
No one will remember, Remember to capitalize your sentences.
Wasn’t Seranthony Dominguez tendered a contract yesterday?
ahhh so that is why the giants kept gott – he signed for just over the minimum
I can’t believe Neris got $5M after the season he just had! Also, Matz has to be happy with $5.2M as well given what he’s done over the last couple of years.
Spare Tire Dixon
I know fans always want the top FAs, but if Bauer, Springer, or Ozuna are not in play, I think a reasonable White Sox offseason could look like:
– Re-sign P A.Colome
– Acquire P L.Lynn from Rangers for P D.Dunning, prospect
– Sign OF M.Brantley
– Sign OF J.Pederson
Rotation: Giolito, Keuchel, Lynn, Cease, Kopech
1. Anderson, SS (R)
2. Brantley, DH (L)
3. Abreu, 1B (R)
4. Jimenez, LF (R)
5. Grandal, C (S)
6. Moncada, 3B (S)
7. Robert, CF (R)
8. Pederson/Engel, RF (L/R)
9. Madrigal, 2B (R)
Twins signed 6 of their 8 arbitration eligible players. I just wish they would have signed Matt Wisler since it would not have cost the Twins that much and he was a pretty good reliever for them. Go Twins!