The deadline to tender contracts to players under team control (any player on the 40-man roster not under long-term contract with less than six years of service time) is Tuesday, December 2 at 9:00 pm Pacific Time.
Execs predicting lots of small-deal movement in the next 24 hours, as non-tender candidates are swapped or DFA'd— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) December 1, 2014
A's non-tender candidate: Ike Davis
The Pirates sent Ike Davis to the Athletics in exchange for the right to spend an extra $269,900 in this year's international front agent market. At the time of the deal, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote:
With the winter meetings starting [December 7], having Davis on the roster as a stopgap means that the A's more easily can explore deals for any of their left-handed hitters who DH, play first or in the outfield, including Brandon Moss, Josh Reddick and John Jaso. If Oakland swings no deals, by this time next month, the A's just as easily might non-tender Davis.
The main reason to non-tender Davis is that first basemen are taking up quite a few 40-man roster spots as it is with Brandon Moss (who can play in the corner outfield), Billy Butler, Stephen Vogt, Nate Freiman, and quite possibly John Jaso. Davis is predicted to earn $4.4 million next season by Matt Swartz's arbitration model at MLB Trade Rumors, if tendered a contract. While Davis has an option year remaining, he is also 17 major league service time days away from reaching five years service time and gaining the right to refuse assignment to the minor leagues.
One part of last Friday's acquisition of Brett Lawrie and others was that the two pitchers acquired displaced right-handed batting first baseman/outfielder Kyle Blanks. Currently designated for assignment, the oft-injured Blanks attained enough service time such that he has the right to refuse any minor league assignment. Blanks was to earn $1.3 million at arbitration had he been tendered a contract, according to the Swartz model.
The current roster I would say reserves 12 of the 13 standard non-pitcher spots to Moss, Vogt, Crisp, Butler, Jaso, Gentry, Reddick, Norris, Lawrie, and three middle infielders. The last spot at the moment is a competition between optioning Ike Davis and his $4.4 million to Triple-A or waiving outfielder Sam Fuld.
Davis moves up the chart vs. right-handed pitching accordingly:
|wRC+ vs. RHP of A's first baseman and named trade candidates|
The basis for the Pirates to non-tender Ike Davis was that Pedro Alvarez may be moving to first base after a terrible defensive season at third, and there was a better way to spend $4.4 million. The basis for the A's to non-tender Davis would be that it can't make a trade before the non-tender deadline, and don't think it's likely enough they can do so to make the risk of sending $4.4 million to Triple-A or waiving Sam Fuld worth it.
If there is a grand plan to acquire a middle infielder by trade, and the A's think it's likely to succeed, I think the A's tender a contract to Davis, and we will soon say our tearful goodbyes to yet another player who made his mark with the Oakland Athletics and welcome another player who is hopefully about to make his.
Statistics courtesy of Fangraphs.