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Chris Carter and Pedro Alvarez highlight the non-tender free agents the Oakland A's should consider

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Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

At the end of Wednesday night, dozens of arbitration-eligible players became free agents when their teams declined to commit to keeping them under contract. This group of non-tenders usually includes some great buy-low opportunities, as it's full of players who had off-years, or are looking to bounce back from injuries, or had simply racked up excessive salary figures through the arbitration process. Now they can sign anywhere for whatever amount teams want to offer them.

Here are some key non-tenders who are now free agents, and a quick word about each. The arbitration estimates are from MLB Trade Rumors, and they give an idea of how much the teams didn't want to pay to keep the players. Those numbers are only for the sake of reference, though, as the players are on the open market now and can be signed for any amount:

Chris Carter | DH

Arbitration estimate had been $5.6 million

2015 stats: .199/.307/.427, 100 OPS+, 24 HR, 32.8% Ks

Imagine the current A's lineup, but remove Billy Butler from the DH spot and replace him with Carter. That's a switch I would make without thinking twice. You'd probably lose a small amount of OBP due to Carter's perennial struggle with the Mendoza Line, but in exchange you'd get a ton of extra power, which is something the A's still lack. Sure, there would be a lot of extra strikeouts, but wouldn't you rather have a Carter whiff than a Butler GIDP? There are a lot of high-contact, low-K players in the lineup already, and I wouldn't necessarily be opposed to adding in an all-or-nothing, grip-it-and-rip-it slugger as a change of pace in the middle of things.

To get an idea of their differences, here is what each of them averaged per season from 2013-2015:

Carter: .218/.312/.459, 112 OPS+, 30 HR, 182 Ks, 8 GIDP
Butler: .271/.341/.394, 103 OPS+, 13 HR, 100 Ks, 25 GIDP

If there's a way to get Butler off the team and open up the DH spot, then a reunion with Trogdor would be one attractive way to replace him. More about Carter at The Crawfish Boxes.

Pedro Alvarez | DH

Arbitration estimate had been $8.1 million

2015 stats: .243/.318/.469, 114 OPS+, 27 HR, -14 DRS and UZR

Alvarez is in the same vein as Carter. He'd be a one-dimensional slugger brought in strictly to add dingers. The defensive metrics DRS and UZR don't always agree on individual players, but in this case they do and the message is that Alvarez is atrocious anywhere on the diamond -- like Carter, he would only be useful as a DH. But he's got pop, and it comes with a higher average and fewer strikeouts than Carter provides. Here's that same comparison of three-year averages, but with Alvarez included (conveniently, he and Carter each averaged 141 games and are the same age):

Carter: .218/.312/.459, 112 OPS+, 30 HR, 182 Ks, 8 GIDP
Alvarez: .235/.308/.452, 110 OPS+, 27 HR, 143 Ks, 11 GIDP
Butler: .271/.341/.394, 103 OPS+, 13 HR, 100 Ks, 25 GIDP

One key difference here is that Alvarez is a left-handed hitter. As things stand, against right-handed pitching, there are two everyday switch-hitters (Jed, Burns), but otherwise there are likely three other lefties (Alonso, Reddick, Vogt) and three other righties (Semien, Canha, Brett/Valencia). One more big lefty bat would look nice with that group, even if he's only in a platoon role.

On the downside, Alvarez can be a free agent again at the end of the season, whereas Carter would be under team control through 2018 if he proved to be a worthwhile addition. More about Alvarez at Bucs Dugout.

Steve Cishek | RP

Arbitration estimate had been $7.1 million

2015 stats: 55⅓ innings, 48 Ks, 27 BB, 3.58 ERA, 111 ERA+

Cishek didn't have a bad year, but his price tag had grown too high in the arbitration process due to the two-plus years he spent as a closer (saves are expensive in arbitration). He had an off-year in 2015, but his numbers were still decent enough and he still has a career 2.82 ERA, 2.81 FIP, and 2.79 K/BB ratio. I can't speak to why he dropped off last year, or why his strikeouts dipped, but he won't turn 30 until midway through next season and he's never had a below-average year.

The thing that particularly grabs my attention is his success in holding leads. He's entered in 135 save situations, and he's only blown it 15 times for an excellent 88.9% success rate. (He earned 95 saves, 22 holds, and 3 wins.) If the A's are looking to add a late-inning reliever anyway, then this is one potential buy-low candidate I would love for them to take a look at. I don't think he'll be dirt cheap, and he could even command a multi-year deal, but there's a chance for a bargain here. More about Cishek at Viva El Birdos.

Yusmeiro Petit | RP

Arbitration estimate had been $2.4 million

2015 stats: 76 innings, 59 Ks, 15 BB, 3.67 ERA, 103 ERA+

Billed as a swingman, Petit posted a 4.52 ERA in 21 starts for the Giants dating back to 2012. He threw nearly the same number of innings in relief during those years and posted a 2.82 ERA out of the pen. He's sort of like a right-handed version of Felix Doubront, though I would consider Doubront a slightly more reliable starter and Petit a slightly superior reliever. Frankly, even with Doubront already on the roster I wouldn't be opposed to bringing the 31-year-old Petit on board as well. More about Petit at McCovey Chronicles.

Juan Nicasio | RP

Arbitration estimate had been $3.1 million

2015 stats: 58⅓ innings, 65 Ks, 32 BB, 3.86 ERA, 97 ERA+

After flaming out as a starter in Colorado, Nicasio became a reliever for the Dodgers last year at age 28. The switch allowed him to add a couple miles to his fastball (averaging 95 mph), and he started striking batters out at a clip of 10 per nine innings. His walk rate was high and his platoon splits were significant, as the right-hander struggled against lefty hitters, but perhaps he could smooth things out with a year of bullpen experience now under his belt. I see a breakout candidate, but not without risk. More about Nicasio at True Blue LA.

Tyler Flowers | C

Arbitration estimate had been $3.5 million

Career vs. A's: 19 games, 60 PAs, .298/.333/.614, 5 HR

I don't actually want Tyler Flowers. I just fear Tyler Flowers. He hit the game-tying and game-winning homer in the same game against Oakland in 2014, and then he went 5-for-11 against the A's last year. Get him out of the opposing dugout however you can. Maybe just make sure an NL team signs him. He's not a bad backup catcher, it's just that the A's already have two excellent catchers. More about Flowers at South Side Sox.

Other notable names (whom I'm not into)

Henderson Alvarez | SP (est. $4.0 million)

Alvarez essentially missed 2015 due to injury, but he was an All-Star in 2014 with a 140 ERA+ and more then three strikeouts per walk. However, he reportedly won't be ready for the start of the season due to shoulder surgery from July. A team willing to take a chance on him in his age-26 season might find a bounce-back bargain, but the A's already have enough injury question marks in their rotation. In this particular offseason, I'd let someone else take this gamble. More about Alvarez at Fish Stripes.

Neftali Feliz | RP (est. $5.2 million)

The former All-Star closer posted a 6.38 ERA in 48 innings last year, but in 2014 he put up a 1.99 in 30 games so he's not that far removed from success. He'll be 28 next year and someone will give him a chance at a comeback.

Al Alburquerque | RP (est. $2.1 million)

He started out strong in 2011-12, but over the last three years he's been bad twice and good once. He used to have huge strikeout totals, but those have dropped significantly the last couple seasons. Bless You Boys says that the 29-year-old just isn't that good anymore.

Greg Holland | RP (est. $11.3 million)

He's going to miss the entire 2016 season due to Tommy John surgery, which is the main reason he's here. Also, that absurd arbitration salary due to all his saves. He could end up sticking around in Kansas City at a lower salary so that he can make a 2017 comeback. More about Holland at Royals Review.

Cesar Ramos | RP (est. $1.7 million)

He was solid for the Angels last year, and he's slightly above average for his career. But the 31-year-old lefty likely isn't any better than what the A's already have in-house. More about Ramos from Halos Heaven.

Others: RP Ryan Cook (!!), SP Mike Minor (perpetually injured, could stay in Atlanta), RP Craig Stammen (missed most of 2015).

Click here for the full list of non-tendered players (from CBS Sports).