All right, folks. The non-tender deadline has now passed, and the free agent pool is considerably expanded. This year, at least as much as any year in recent memory, there are loads of guys I’d be interested in seeing the Cubs take a flyer on as a lottery ticket, OR guys who’ll actually get decent contracts as complementary contributors.
Among the bigger/more notable names non-tendered today:
- Reliever Blake Treinen (down 2019, but he was otherworldly in 2018)
- Reliever Kevin Gausman (put him in the bullpen, and I think he’s gonna succeed)
- 2B Cesar Hernandez (high-contact bat, quality defense at 2B)
- 2B/SS Jose Peraza (upside remaining, back-up SS option)
- Outfielder Kevin Pillar (could be a nice 4th outfielder)
- Starter Taijuan Walker (coming back from TJS, but should be ready to go for this season)
- Starter/Reliever Aaron Sanchez (coming back from shoulder surgery, will miss some time)
- Outfielder Steven Souza Jr. (coming back from serious knee injury)
- Reliever Jason Adam (good minor league track record and good results for the Blue Jays in limited duty but meh peripherals)
- Infielder Yolmer Sanchez (elite defense and clubhouse guy, but hits like a back-up catcher)
- Catcher John Ryan Murphy (can’t hit, but can still catch well enough to be a quality depth catcher at AAA, and that’s always important to have)
- Catcher Luke Maile (probably just about the same as Murphy)
- Catcher Kevin Plawecki (yup, probably same story)
- Catcher Caleb Joseph (hey, it’s a theme)
- Catcher Josh Phegley (more in the vein of a true big-league back-up catcher, and might be paid like it)
- Third baseman Maikel Franco (who was actually together with Kris Bryant in the service time grievance, but, uh, things haven’t worked out for him)
Tons more non-tenders tonight – MLB.com is tracking the whole list here – and it’ll take some time to process the impact on the free agent pool, especially for clubs like the Cubs that might be aggressively picking over the discards.
We’ll get into the specifics on some of these guys – particularly as rumors emerge – but it’s not hard to see everybody on that list outside of Franco holding some appeal for the Cubs (when you keep the cost and context in mind). I roughly put the names in the order of interest to me, but it’s all kinda fungible when you’re talking about these types.
Elsewhere, the Brewers dropped five guys today:
— Jon Morosi (@jonmorosi) December 3, 2019
No ENORMOUS shocks there when considering price tags and performance, but in the aggregate, it seems like a lot of salary unloading for the Brewers, who also saved a lot of salary in the recent Davies/Grisham/Urias/Lauer trade. That’s upwards of $15 million unloaded tonight, and it’s a lot of players to replace on the roster.
The White Sox are hanging onto James McCann:
Catcher James McCann and the Chicago White Sox have agreed on a one-year, $5.4 million deal, sources tell ESPN. A little more than a year ago, McCann was non-tendered by Detroit. He will be a free agent after the 2020 season.
— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 2, 2019
Makes for a pricey back-up, especially on a team where DH is going to be used up frequently – might they now shop him? You wonder about how the catching market is going to look after today.