Good morning, Athletics Nation!
Today (Wed, Dec 2) is a major landmark in the MLB offseason, as it brings the deadline for teams to tender contracts to their arbitration-eligible players.
When a player has been in the majors for a few years, but before he reaches free agency (6-7 years), he is eligible for salary arbitration. That means the team still holds control over whether the player stays or goes, but the player becomes entitled to a hefty raise. If the two sides can’t agree on a number, then a court decides for them.
The precise salaries don’t need to be determined by today, but teams must at least decide whether to commit to their players and accept whatever it ends up costing (though most settlements aren’t guaranteed and the team can back out until the middle of next spring). Anybody who isn’t tendered a contract today (or, “non-tendered”) becomes a free agent. The non-tender market is predicted to be especially interesting this winter, with teams expected to be cutting costs after the short, unprofitable summer.
The A’s have 10 eligible players this winter, but three have already agreed to contracts: pitcher Burch Smith, super-sub Chad Pinder, and utilityman Tony Kemp. Pinder’s deal is notable because it is fully guaranteed, unlike most pacts for players in his situation (per insider Mark Feinsand).
The rest of Oakland’s eligible players are all sure to receive tenders (salary projections courtesy of MLB Trade Rumors using multiple possible methods; so far the real-life numbers are ending up around the middle of these ranges):
- OF Mark Canha – $5.4m / $8.2m / $6.1m
- LHP Sean Manaea – $4.2m / $6.4m / $4.7m
- 1B Matt Olson – $3.5m / $6.4m / $3.5m
- RHP Chris Bassitt – $3.1m / $5.6m / $5.5m
- 3B Matt Chapman – $2.9m / $4.3m / $2.9m
- RHP Frankie Montas – $1.6m / $2.4m / $1.6m
- RHP Lou Trivino – $900k / $1.1m / $900k
The next 24 hours will bring a barrage of news after a few quiet weeks. Some players will agree to contracts, others will simply receive the assurance of getting tendered, and still others around the league will be let go and suddenly become available (see Twitter section below for one such interesting name). Let’s see what new surprises 2020 has in store for us (he said nervously).
- Coffey: A’s arbitration decisions: Which players will be tendered contracts? ($$$)
- Slusser podcast: Guest is sports agent Rachel Luba
- AN: A’s sign Burch Smith, avoid arbitration
- AN: A’s sign Chad Pinder, avoid arbitration
- AN: A’s sign Tony Kemp, avoid arbitration
- AN: The best A’s closers come from the unlikeliest places
MLB News & Interest
- Cooper: MLB Expected To Expand MiLB Player Limit For Full-Season Clubs
- Neal III: St. Paul Saints to become Twins’ top minor-league team; Class AA in Wichita
- Today in Baseball History
Best of Twitter
RIP to a former A’s player
Tommy Sandt was the A's second-round pick in 1969 and played briefly in Oakland in the mid-1970s. Longtime coach under Jim Leyland. RIP. https://t.co/k3Z6TdhKuD— John Shea (@JohnSheaHey) December 2, 2020
I already wanted to write an article about this idea, and now I basically have to
It will never happen but in light of the Kiner-Falefa news, it would be interesting if the A's moved Matt Chapman to SS and started Chad Pinder at 3B as a way to replace Marcus Semien if he doesn't re-sign.— Melissa Lockard (@melissalockard) December 1, 2020
We’ll learn more about Pena soon with a post about minor league free agent position players (already did the pitchers)
Newest A's catcher Francisco Pena with the throw from his knees like pop used to do. https://t.co/PF98kC1q4b— Melissa Lockard (@melissalockard) December 2, 2020
The A’s did just lose their lefty-swinging LF to free agency. Is Rosario worth a look? He got a downballot MVP vote this season.
Twins outfielder Eddie Rosario is on outright waivers, sources tell The Athletic. The move is the clearest sign yet he will be non-tendered. Twins essentially giving him chance to be claimed by team that might pay him his projected arbitration salary of $9.6M. 1/1— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 2, 2020
... more details on Rosario
Twins have tried to trade Rosario, but apparently no team was eager to take him at his arb salary. His waivers expire at 1 p.m. tomorrow. If no team claims him, Twins can make case that no club wanted him at arb number, and try to negotiate a deal with him at a lower price. 2/2— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) December 2, 2020
Wait what American dollars? Pitching might be expensive this winter after all.
Mike Minor's deal with the Royals is official, sources tell ESPN. It will be for two years and $18 million guaranteed and includes a $13 million club option for the 2023 season with a $1 million buyout.— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) December 1, 2020
SP market has been good. Morton $15M, Smyly $11M, Ray $8M, now Minor $18M
Yup, it’s expensive
Trevor May’s 2-year deal with the Mets is for about $15M— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) December 1, 2020
Megan Rapinoe, Simone Biles, and Billie Jean King, but perhaps you can convince me of someone else in the comments section?
I know you can name your favorite male athletes but name 3 female athletes you admire. Show them some love, and tag them if you can.— Justine Siegal PhD (@justinebaseball) December 1, 2020
A couple former A’s in this Korean Baseball news update
Kiwoom officially announced that they will not be bringing back Jake Brigham and Addison Russell, they will try to work on a contract to bring back Eric Jokisch https://t.co/31Nc9zFlfL— Dan Kurtz (@MyKBO) November 27, 2020
Sounds like Reddick is moving on from Houston this winter