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Sport 11 MLB non-tender candidates who could become free agents

20:52  02 december  2019
20:52  02 december  2019 Source:   usatoday.com

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Major League Baseball's deadline to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players is Monday at 8 p.m. ET, and those who are non-tendered immediately become free agents.

a baseball player wearing a red hat: Cesar Hernandez had a .357 OBP over the past four seasons. © Bill Streicher, USA TODAY Sports Cesar Hernandez had a .357 OBP over the past four seasons.

Players who are tendered a contract remain under team control and will agree on contract numbers at a later date.

A team's decision to tender a contract depends on its calculus about whether that player is worth the estimate that they would receive in arbitration for 2020.

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While these players can still be dealt ahead of Monday's deadline, here are some of the biggest names who could be non-tendered and hit the free agent market:

(Arbitration estimates for 2020 via MLB Trade Rumors)

Cesar Hernandez, 2B, Phillies ($11.8 million) – A .277 career hitter with a .352 OBP, the 29-year-old is unquestionably an everyday player, but with his team chasing some of the top free agents, the salary room could come in handy.

Blake Treinen, RHP, Athletics ($7.8 million) – Treinen regressed after an unbelievable 2018 season that saw him post a 0.78 ERA in 68 games, earning Cy Young and MVP votes. He lost the ninth-inning job in 2019 and had a 6.14 ERA in the second half, but a team in need of bullpen help could buy low on the 31-year-old.

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Jackie Bradley Jr., OF, Red Sox ($11 million) – The 2018 Gold Glove winner had a fine season, but that's a big chunk of cash for a club looking to reign in spending for 2020. Plenty of teams would likely be interested in trading for him.

Kevin Pillar, OF, Giants ($9.7 million) – The 30-year-old set career-highs in 2019 with 21 home runs and 88 RBI and received MVP votes, but the organization has some substantial contracts on the books for 2020 and beyond.

C.J. Cron, 1B, Twins ($7.7 million) – Cron hit 25 homers this season in just 125 games, but sluggers like him are all too common these days. The Twins would be better off re-investing that money elsewhere.

Maikel Franco, 3B, Phillies ($6.7 million) – Once thought to be a budding star, Franco has sputtered and doesn't seem to have a future as the Phillies pursue a third baseman in free agency.

Jurickson Profar, INF, Athletics ($5.8 million) – The former top prospect disappointed in his first year with Oakland, but did post an .821 OPS in the second half. His versatility could make him an attractive option elsewhere.

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Addison Russell, SS/2B, Cubs ($5.1 million) – The 25-year-old has probably worn out his welcome in Chicago and is a fairly toxic asset following his domestic abuse suspension. 

Domingo Santana, OF, Mariners ($4.4 million) – In his first year with the Mariners, Santana bounced back after a disappointing 2018 in Milwaukee. He posted a .286/.354/.496 line in the first half with 18 homers and 63 RBI, but only played 31 games in the second half. With regular playing time, the 27-year-old could be a great get at a bargain price.

Jake Lamb, 3B/1B, Diamondbacks ($5 million) – Two years removed from a 30 homer, 105-RBI All-Star season in 2017, Lamb has been hampered by injuries, managing just 134 games in 2018 and 2019 combined.

Travis Shaw, 3B/1B, Brewers ($4.7 million) – Shaw averaged 32 homers and 94 RBI from 2017-18, but struggled to find playing time in 2019 and was sent down to the minors. His arbitration estimate would be a fair figure, and Milwaukee may choose to hold him with question marks at the corner spots.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 11 MLB non-tender candidates who could become free agents

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