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MLB is Moving the Tender Deadline Up to November 30

Chicago Cubs

What happens if you’ve got a key deadline on the calendar for a day after the Collective Bargaining Agreement expires and everyone knows a lockout is coming? It’s certainly something I’ve been wondering about the tender deadline, scheduled for December 2, a day after the CBA expires. If that date were to stay in place, then teams and players would be in a really bizarre spot not knowing – during the entirety of the lockout – how their process for tendering contracts was actually going to proceed. Worse (for players), teams could use that uncertainty as leverage to get players to sign pre-tender contracts at rates lower than their arbitration projections.

Anyway, these issues have now been address with a schedule change:

The tender deadline is the date by which teams must offer 2022 contracts to players who have not yet qualified for free agency (i.e., “under team control”). The salary for arbitration-level players is determined later, but this is the deadline for committing to the player. You typically see some trade activity, and, of course, non-tenders. That means – like the Cubs did with Kyle Schwarber last year, for one example – teams can decide to let a guy go and become a free agent, rather than lock themselves into an arbitration price tag.

As Rosenthal implies in a second tweet, a particularly aggressive team – if they already know a fringe non-tender candidate they want to target – could try to lock down a freshly-minted free agent before the lockout kicks in:

So, now you can pencil in a week from today as a busy, busy day.



Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.