Yesterday was the non-tender day for arbitration-eligible players. Teams had to decide to keep a player who they would then deal with in arbitration or to turn him loose and make him a free agent.
With the pandemic wiping out so much revenue—$30 billion dollars according to Major League baseball, which is one billion dollars per team—this year’s non-tender deadline was expected to be brutal for players.
Teams had to decide if a player is really worth having to give him the huge raises players get in arbitration. Or if they would rather let him go.
There are always a few surprises. This season is no different. The biggest names this year to suddenly become a free agent are the Cubs Kyle Schwarber, the Braves Adam Duvall, and the Twins Eddie Rosario.
The Rangers non-tendered three players. Danny Santana, Scott Heineman, and Jimmy Herget. They can, of course, resign any of these players, only now they wouldn’t have to arbitration with those players. They can offer them what they want, take it or leave it.
Other names familiar to Rangers fans who were let go by their teams include Nomar Mazara, Delino DeShields, Hanser Alberto, Ariel Jurado, Chi Chi Gonzalez, and Alex Claudio.
They are all free agents.
Amazingly, and sadly, just one season ago, Mazara and DeShields were starters in the Rangers outfield. One season later, they are discarded into the free agency dustbin.
Mazara is the poster child for this process. He had one home run in 2020, with a pitiful .589 OPS. Yet, because he is available for arbitration, he would have gotten a significant raise from the $5.5 million he was making, which is ridiculous but that’s the process. The White Sox decided he wasn’t worth it. Now, any team can sign him for what they agree on without having to go through the arbitration process that artificially inflates salaries.
It’s worth noting that of the 56 players non-tendered, six came from the Rangers farm system.