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Elephant Rumblings: MLB arbitration non-tender deadline approaches

MLB news roundup

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Oakland Athletics v Houston Astros - Game Two Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images

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).

A’s Coverage

MLB News & Interest

Best of Twitter

RIP to a former A’s player

I already wanted to write an article about this idea, and now I basically have to

We’ll learn more about Pena soon with a post about minor league free agent position players (already did the pitchers)

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.

... more details on Rosario

Wait what American dollars? Pitching might be expensive this winter after all.

Yup, it’s expensive

Megan Rapinoe, Simone Biles, and Billie Jean King, but perhaps you can convince me of someone else in the comments section?

A couple former A’s in this Korean Baseball news update

Sounds like Reddick is moving on from Houston this winter