11/11/09

Targeting Non-Tender Candidates

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There's a new market inefficiency waiting to be exploited by astute major league general managers - non-tender candidates.

Non-tendering is a term used when an arbitration-eligible player is not offered a contract for the upcoming season. That player, in effect, becomes a free agent and can sign with any club. This offseason may see an explosion in non-tendered players, which would flood the free agent market with young veterans who may still have something to offer.

Three such players switched teams last week - the Royals sent Mark Teahen to the White Sox, the Marlins sent Jeremy Hermida to the Red Sox and the Brewers sent JJ Hardy to the Twins. The White Sox may have slightly overpaid for Teahen, but Boston and Minnesota have filled holes while giving up relatively little in the process.

Hardy is a natural shortstop, so obviously he would not have made sense for a team still committed to Jose Reyes at that position. However, Teahen and Hermida would've made for terrific reserve options on a team that simply must stop stocking their bench with over-the-hill free agents.

Teahen could've challenged for the first base job in the spring and served as a competent alternative to David Wright on those rare occasions when the workhorse needed a day off. Hermida can play either corner outfield position and could've challenged Jeff Francouer in right field. Both are left-handed and both are better pinch-hitting options than Alex Cora, who the Mets might re-sign this winter.

(Read the entire article at Productive Outs and Crackerjack)

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