We’ve already covered this topic a bit in the payroll and options analysis spots, but since the official non-tender deadline is this week (tomorrow, 12/2/19 at 8pm EST to be specific), I thought i’d throw out the players, give some external opinions and then my own.
First, here’s our list of arb-eligible players; 9 in all.
|Player||Current or 2019 Contract||2019 Lux Tax||2019 Real dollars||My Guess|
|Turner, Trea||1 year/$3.725M (2019)||3725000||3725000||8000000|
|Taylor, Michael||1 year/$3.25M (2019)||3250000||3250000||4500000|
|Strickland, Hunter||1 year/$1.3M (2019)||1300000||1300000||2500000|
|Elias, Roenis||1 year/$910,000 (2019)||910000||910000||1300000|
|Guerra, Javy||1 year/$800,000 (2019)||800000||800000||1200000|
|Difo, Wilmer||1 year/$581,100 (2019)||581000||581000||800000|
|Ross, Joe||1 year/$1M (2019)||1000000||1000000||1400000|
|Glover, Koda||1 year/$564,300 (2019)||564300||564300||750000|
|Barrett, Aaron||1 year/minor league||150000||150000||750000|
A couple days ago, MLBtraderumors.com published its list of non-tender candidates and for the Nats they listed the following players (and only the following players):
- Wilmer Difo
- Javy Guerra
- Koda Glover
- Hunter Strickland
So, lets go player by player and talk about what I think will happen (in the order of the table above):
- Turner, Trea; obvious tender.
- Taylor, Michael: I’m torn. I just can’t see spending $3.5M or more (he made $3.25M last season) on a guy who you had to send to AA because he was so bad last year. But, its also notable that he featured prominently in the playoffs, and not his likely replacement if we non-tender him Andrew Stevenson . When Victor Robles went out, it was Taylor who played the entire LA series and performed well. Maybe the team still rates him. Its interesting that Taylor was specifically not listed by MLBtraderumors … maybe $3.5M for a 4th OF that you grew at home and who you know is a fantastic defender and who can string together solid streaks at the plate is worth keeping. I’m coming around on Taylor and think we keep him.
- Strickland, Hunter: i just can’t see non-tendering him a half a season after acquiring him. Even if he wasn’t terribly effective in 2019 for us, he was also coming off injury and was a closer-quality guy for years in SF. His salary only projects to about $2-$2.5M and that’s a good gamble. Keep him.
- Elias, Roenis: as with Strickland; we just got him and then he got hurt. Stupidly running the bases (please, can we have a universal DH yet??), he pulled a hamstring that basically never healed. Easy tender for 2020.
- Guerra, Javy: numbers weren’t great, but he handled his DFA with grace and apparently this won’t be forgotten by management. Made the WS roster and pitched. I like the guy, think he’s a fighter, and i think he’s a good middle relief candidate. I’d tender him.
- Difo, Wilmer; first year arb eligible; split time between AAA and MLB this year. I mean, you need a backup infielder, and his numbers aren’t terribly bad for a guy who can play a number of positions. I’m not sure why he’s a NT candidate; i’d rather have him at $800k than Adrian Sanchez at $550k.
- Ross, Joe: obvious tender
- Glover, Koda: tough one here. Glover has closer quality stuff, but now has two straight seasons of injury and faces arbitration. I’ve got him projected at just $750k (MLBtraderumors even less): why not tender him at that price then if you cut him in ST you’re on the hook for 1/6th of it ($125K). That’s peanuts for a guy who you know can be an 8th-9th inning reliever.
- Barrett, Aaron: well, it’d be pretty cynical for the team to call him up in Sept for the sob story of redemption then ruthlessly NT him to save $750k right?
One last note: even if you tender a guy, if you drop him mid-spring training you’re only on the hook for a small portion of his salary. So some of these non-tenders may turn into “tender now, do arbitration then use spring training as a tryout on the cheap.” None of our real NT candidates really are that expensive, so It wouldn’t surprise me to tender all of them in some respects.
I’m predicting zero non-tenders. I thought initially we may NT at least 4 of these guys, especially Taylor, but team actions seem to indicate otherwise.