It’s another deadline day! Didn’t I tell you the offseason was full of them?
Today is the day by which teams have to offer contracts to players (aka “tender” a contract) under team control for 2017, but not otherwise already signed to a contract. This day is most typically associated with arbitration-eligible players, but you do sometimes see pre-arbitration players non-tendered on this day, if a team decides they are not likely to carry that player on the 40-man roster all offseason, for example.
The offer of a contract today locks on a not-fully-guaranteed* deal for 2017, though the salaries for arbitration-eligible players will not necessarily be determined today. Instead, that process involves the exchange of proposals by the players and the team, and takes place in January, if the two sides do not agree to a contract sooner.
The Cubs have four players eligible for arbitration in 2017, and all will be tendered contracts today (players and arbitration estimates):
- Jake Arrieta (final time through arbitration) – $16.8 million
- Hector Rondon (second of three times through arbitration) – $5.7 million
- Pedro Strop (final time through arbitration) – $5.5 million
- Justin Grimm (second of four times through arbitration) – $1.8 million
Around baseball, though, there are sure to be some interesting players who are non-tendered today – or possibly even traded today before the deadline passes, so that they can be tendered by a new team willing to take them on. If non-tendered, a player immediately becomes a free agent.
*Contracts for arbitration-level players typically are not fully guaranteed until the season begins. Instead, a team may release the player in Spring Training for termination pay, which is a portion of the contract (about 1/6, depending on when the release occurs). We can get into that more as Spring Training approaches, if it seems like it will become relevant.