With the non-tender deadline on the horizon tomorrow, 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.
- Athletics second baseman Tony Kemp will get $1.05MM over one year, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle relays.
- The Rockies announced that they have re-signed righty Jairo Diaz to a one-year pact. It’s worth $1.1MM, Feinsand tweets.
- The Phillies and righty reliever Seranthony Dominguez have a one-year, $727,500 deal, according to Feinsand. Dominguez underwent Tommy John surgery at the end of June, so he might not pitch at all in 2021.
- The Athletics and utility player Chad Pinder reached a one-year, $2.275MM deal, per Nightengale. Pinder has two seasons of team control left.
- The Orioles and catcher Pedro Severino agreed to a one-year deal worth $1.825MM, MLB.com’s Mark Feinsand reports (Twitter link). There was some speculation that Severino could be a non-tender candidate, though he has posted pretty decent numbers over two seasons as Baltimore’s primary catcher. Severino is controllable through the 2023 season.
- The Nationals and right-hander Joe Ross agreed to a one-year, $1.5MM contract, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets. This is a match of the salary Ross and the Nats had agreed on for the 2020 season, but Ross decided to opt out back in June. This was Ross’ third year of arbitration eligibility, and is now expected to return and compete for a job in Washington’s rotation in 2021.
- The Royals agreed to one-year deals with righties Jesse Hahn and Jakob Junis and outfielder Franchy Cordero, according to Feinsand and USA Today’s Bob Nightengale (Twitter links). Hahn signed for $1.75MM in guaranteed money with another $350K available in incentives. Junis will rake in $1.7MM. Cordero will earn $800K in his first arbitration-eligible year.
- The Athletics and righty Burch Smith agreed to a one-year deal worth $705K, USA Today’s Bob Nightengale tweets. The 30-year-old Smith allowed three runs on seven hits and a walk with 13 strikeouts in 12 2/3 frames with the A’s in 2020. That was a solid showing for Smith to carry into his first trip through the arb process, though he carried a career 6.57 ERA in 135 1/3 frames into the 2020 season. The A’s can control Smith through 2023.
- The Rockies agreed to a one-year, $1.2MM deal with catcher Elias Diaz, per Nightengale (Twitter link). The contract contains another $300K in available incentives. The 30-year-old looked like a clear non-tender candidate after posting an ugly .235/.288/.353 slash with lackluster framing marks and just a 1-for-8 effort in throwing out base thieves, but the Rockies must remain hopeful he can return to his 2018 level of performance. Diaz is controllable through the 2022 season via arbitration.
- Right-hander Jacob Barnes and the Mets agreed to a one-year deal worth $750K, Nightengale tweets. Barnes, claimed off waivers back in October, was a quality reliever in Milwaukee from 2016-18 but has seen his results crater over the past two seasons. From 2019-20, he’s posted a 6.75 ERA over 50 2/3 innings. Barnes has averaged 10 strikeouts per nine frames in that time but also averaged 4.6 walks and 1.42 homers as well. Barnes is controllable through 2022.