Today is one of the busiest days of the MLB offseason, as it is the deadline to tender a contract to those players who are arbitration eligible, and that usually brings about a flurry of action.
Many big name players are rumored to be not receiving a contract, which would lead them to a belated free agency. Amongst those players, Jake Lamb, Maikel Franco, Addison Russell, and Cheslor Cuthbert. There are a multitude of reasons for these big name players in particular to be moved on from. Cuthbert, for one, has been replaced on the Royals totem pole, and with the inability to play second base and shortstop, they can stand to use him. As for Russell, off the field issues have brought the Cubs to make the decision on him tougher, as he had a domestic violence dispute in 2018. Lamb is like a lot of players on this list, past up on the depth chart, and that is due to poor performance. The one time all star Lamb has had lots of injury problems, and that has led to poor performance. Finally, Franco, one time huge prospect, has been replaced by the Phillies by Scott Kingery, and though he’s never really had a bad season, the Philadelphia front office wants to move on.
Usually, the incentive for teams to not tender players a contract is less of talent, but more of money. The way that arbitration works in baseball is that each year, a contract goes up more and more in value, for three years. Most of the time, when a team decides to move on from a player via this process, it’s more about not wanting to pay them a large contract. CJ Cron has been a victim of that in years past, and figured to again be a victim this year.
As for those players who are not getting a contract, they will be able to become free agents directly, and are then able to sign anywhere they want, whenever they want. Some big name free agents come out of non tender day, such as Corey Dickerson, CJ Cron and Tim Beckham in years past.
The deadline to tender a contract is tonight at 7 PM local time, and many moves will be made before that time.