Crowdsourcing Kris Bryant and Other Non-Tender Candidates

Earlier this week, Eric Longenhagen wrote about the looming non-tender deadline and the expectation that the number of available players after the December deadline will increase relative to normal. While the deadline will reveal which arbitration-eligible players have been tendered contracts and which will be made free agents, there will be some trade and waiver activity ahead of the deadline as well. Some players are likely to be placed on waivers to spur a trade while others could be moved before it reaches that point. Last season, the A’s traded Jurickson Profar to the Padres just ahead of the non-tender deadline. The Orioles placed Jonathan Villar on waivers ahead of his eventual trade to the Marlins, and Miami kept busy by claiming Jesús Aguilar off waivers from the Rays. Other players will reach agreements on a contract with their teams ahead of the deadline to avoid uncertainty.

While there should be considerable activity ahead of and at the deadline, it’s a bit unclear just how big the names that move in the next few weeks will actually be. To that end, I am asking for your assistance in assessing expectations around the non-tender deadline by focusing on the biggest names. Each player will have three options:

  1. Tendered a contract by his current team.
  2. Traded or waived and tendered a contract by his new team.
  3. Non-tendered and heads to free agency.

The player’s estimated 2021 salary from MLB Trade Rumors (which also appear on our RosterResource payroll pages) is in parentheses. For these purposes, treat reaching agreement on a contract ahead of the non-tender deadline the same as a player being tendered a contract by his current team. We’ll look at the results next week. Thanks for your help!





Craig Edwards can be found on twitter @craigjedwards.

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sadtrombone
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sadtrombone

The hardest ones for me are Knebel and Bryant, which is hilarious because according to the polls these are the ones where I think I diverge most from the overall opinion. I think ultimately Bryant gets tendered and traded; I am convinced someone out there values Bryant at that projected salary but that it’s not universal enough for any one team to value him at it. Knebel’s value is hard to pin down, but he’s good value another year removed from arm surgery, so I just don’t know.

I think Gray gets tendered, mostly because the Rockies have a tendency to overvalue their own players; he’d be 50/50 for most other teams. $5M or whatever he is projected is a good salary to bet on a bounceback at catcher, so I think Sanchez winds up getting tendered by the Yankees or traded to another team if they’re exhausted by him.

I think three of the four corner outfielders get non-tendered (Schwarber, Rosario, and Renfroe). The first two could start for some teams but they’re relatively expensive, the last one is just not that good. Teams don’t like paying for corner outfielders. I don’t think Pham gets non-tendered because of sunk cost, but if he hadn’t been traded recently I think most teams would be non-tendering him after a down year (I also think he’s pretty good value for that tender so I think it’s the right call even if he probably gets saved for the wrong reason).

ascheff
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ascheff

Bryant’s worst full season was 4.8 fWAR, and Depth Charts and Steamer both project him north of 3 in 2021. Every single team looking to compete next year except maybe the Rays and As would take a chance on him at $18 million, since he can play the outfield corners in addition to 3B and 1B. None of that will matter though, because the Cubs are currently projected to be the best team in the NL Central yet again in 2021, so they will tender him a contract. The idea that they were for a single second considering non-tendering him is laughable.

They could obviously still trade him, but if they trade him, it will involve MLB pieces in a return deal. They aren’t going to start a full rebuild while they’re still the best team in their division. They’ll either try to retool slightly this offseason via trade or (more likely) see if Bryant and Baez can bounce back in 2021 and only sell at the deadline if they’re out of it.

sadtrombone
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sadtrombone

Before I evaluate this statement (which I do not agree with), I’d like to know your opinion about how COVID-19 is going to affect spending, what the value of Bryant is when he’s not playing third base, and some information on the idea that clearly states they’re not interested in cutting payroll.

FWIW, I would put the number of teams that would pay that amount for Bryant to be about 5–the Braves, Nationals, Mets, Dodgers, and maybe the Cubs or Blue Jays.

carter
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carter

I don’t think every team would either. Cubs may still be the best team in that division, but that isn’t saying much. I’d imagine Theo left before 2021 for a reason.

Dr Hocker
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Dr Hocker

Bryant and Schwarber are two of the more interesting non tender candidates. Winning the division doesn’t mean as much anymore when you fold instantly in the playoffs…..but you still have to get there.

Maybe this is a hedge, but if an Atlanta or Toronto make a decent offer, KB is gone. Otherwise, it makes sense to tender him, see how things go and get better value in 7/21.

Quite frankly, based on 2020, you just don’t lose all that much at 3B with Bote as a starter. Bote’s BA was anemic in 2020, but he’s a better defender and he has a knack for rising to the occasion.

Pepper Martin
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Pepper Martin

As a free agent Bryant would relatively easily get a contract over $200 million. He’s essentially a few-years-older version of Manny Machado two years ago, so knock a bit off the front end of Machado’s contract and you’ve got a pretty good look at what Bryant will be in line for.