Update: The 2020 MLB non-tender deadline has come to pass, and the Rays, somewhat surprisingly — given an infield log-jam, the desire to add pitching, and a (previously) full 40-man roster — opted to tender the contracts of the seven below-listed players. Tampa Bay’s front office did free up one spot on the 40-man roster when it chose not to offer a contract to right-hander Edgar Garcia, who was not yet eligible for arbitration. Tampa Bay acquired Garcia for a player to be named later in August after the Phillies designated him for assignment, although he was hit hard over a small sample of work.
It bears mentioning that just because a player’s contract has been tendered, that does not necessarily mean that they will be on the Opening Day roster. If a player carries a significant value — value that would be lost by opting not to tender their contract — they could later be used in a trade to fill a need. For example, last season the Rays tendered the contract of Tommy Pham, who was traded to San Diego shortly thereafter.
Neil Solondz also noted that “in addition, the contracts are not guaranteed. For instance, if a player is DFA’ed more than 20 days before the start of the season, the team would only be responsible for one-sixth of that individual’s salary. If the move comes within 20 days of the season and before Opening Day, that number jumps to about a fourth of the deal. Had the Rays not worked out deals, 2018 decisions on Corey Dickerson and Jake Odorizzi would have fit in this category.”
While the initial impression of satisfaction with the current roster may have been given, by offering contracts to the seven arbitration-eligible players, there is still work to be done in order to add the pieces which would make the team competitive once again in 2021.
It’s MLB non-tender deadline day, and the Tampa Bay Rays, who reportedly are seeking starting pitching — and thus would need to create roster space — have until 8:00 PM to make some tough decisions. All teams will determine whether they will offer their pre-arbitration and arbitration-eligible players a contract offer for next season. And while they don’t have to sign their players before the deadline, they do have to make an offer. Players who do not receive a contract offer are considered “non-tendered” and become free agents.
The Rays currently have seven players (listed below) that could be free-agents by 8:01 PM tonight. As Neil Solondz (Rays Radio) writes, “the seven players … will earn from $13.6–20 million in 2021 if they all are tendered. Add in the approximately $32.2 million that four players under contract are to receive (Kevin Kiermaier, Brandon Lowe, Blake Snell, and Yoshi Tsutsugo and that’s about $45.8–52.2 million for 11 players. Several others would make near the minimum (ie — Willy Adames, Austin Meadows, etc) but there are still several areas still to improve upon in order to upgrade next year’s version of the Rays from a team that went to the World Series to one that can win it.”
The seven players and their 2021 projected salaries (courtesy of MLB Trade Rumors) follow:
- Jose Alvarado — $1-1.1-Million
- Yonny Chirinos — $1.6-1.8-Million
- Ji-Man Choi — $1.6-2.1-Million
- Tyler Glasnow — $2.8-5.1-Million
- Manuel Margot — $2.8-3.6-Million
- Joey Wendle — $1.6-2.7-Million
- Ryan Yarbrough — $2.2-3.6-Million
It is worth noting that due to the truncated 60-game season, the salaries are ranges because it is not entirely evident how values would be determined if a hearing was to take place.