Intriguing Names Included in MLB Non-Tenders

Tuesday evening was the deadline for MLB teams to tender contracts to their arbitration-eligible players. Those who weren't tendered contracts were granted free agency. We take a look at the top names who are now on the open market after being non-tendered.

Players who were arbitration-eligible but not tendered contracts were granted their free agency on Tuesday. Below is a list of all of the players "non-tendered" before the deadline. Note that all of these players are now eligible to sign with any team, including the team that non-tendered them.

Everth Cabrera (San Diego): It has been a swift fall from grace for Cabrera, who made the All-Star team in 2013 and hit .283/.355/.381 that season before being suspended for PEDs as part of the Biogenesis scandal. Since then, Cabrera has also been arrested on DUI charges. In 2012, he was charged with domestic violence, although the case was later dismissed. Cabrera hit only .232/.272/.300 in 90 games last season. Even with all of his off-the-field problems and his 2014 struggles, Cabrera figures to get some interest in a market that is thin on shortstops.

Kris Medlen (Atlanta): In 2012, Medlen was arguably the most dominant right-handed pitcher in the National League. Medlen posted a 1.57 ERA in 138 innings that season, striking out 120 and walking 38. He split that year between the bullpen and the rotation, as Medlen was coming off of Tommy John surgery. In 2013, he spent the entire season in the rotation and he had a 3.11 ERA in 197 innings. Unfortunately, Medlen injured his elbow once again during spring training and missed the entire 2014 season after undergoing his second Tommy John surgery. He is expected to return midseason. The Braves could try to re-sign Medlen to a deal that is less expensive than what he would have received in arbitration.

Justin Smoak (Toronto): Smoak was claimed off waivers by the Blue Jays earlier this off-season, and many thought he would have a chance to play regularly for the Blue Jays. Instead, he will hit the free agent market. The former first-round pick has never lived up to his early promise. He is a career .224 hitter and he has bounced around between the big leagues and Triple-A in recent years. However, Smoak did homer 20 times and post a 746 OPS for Seattle in 2013. He is an excellent defender, as well. It wouldn’t be surprising to see a team give him a major-league deal for 2015.

Daniel Descalso (St. Louis): The Cardinals parted ways with Descalso, who was an everyday player for St. Louis in 2011 and 2012. He started to lose playing time in 2013 and appeared in only 104 games in 2014, mostly as a pinch-hitter. He is a career .243/.313/.341 hitter who can play every infield position. Descalso should find a landing spot this winter.

Alexi Ogando (Texas): From 2010 – 2013, Ogando was a key member of a Rangers’ pitching staff that made Texas one of the top teams in the American League. Like the rest of the Rangers, Ogando struggled with both injuries and poor play in 2014. He posted a 6.84 ERA in a career-low 25 innings last season. If healthy, Ogando presents an intriguing fifth starter or long relief option for many teams. Even with his poor 2013 season, Ogando has a career ERA+ of 129. He should get a look somewhere this winter.

Andy Dirks (Toronto): Dirks lost virtually all of the 2014 season to back and hamstring injuries. The former Detroit Tigers’ outfielder was claimed by the Blue Jays earlier this off-season. The left-handed hitting Dirks had an 857 OPS in 88 games in 2012, but he slumped to a 686 OPS in 131 games for Detroit in 2014. He has a career 751 OPS versus right-handed pitchers.

Eric Young, Jr. (New York – NL): Young appeared in 100 games for the Mets last season, posting a .229/.299/.311 line. He stole 30 bases in 36 chances and played decent defense in the outfield. Young has struggled with the bat the last two seasons, but he led the league in stolen bases in 2013 and is a decent fourth outfielder option for a team in need of some speed off of the bench.

Adam Rosales (Texas): The Rangers parted ways with Rosales, who should draw plenty of interest from teams looking for a utility player. Rosales can play every position in the infield, as well as left field. He appeared in 56 games with the Rangers last season, posting a .262/.328/.378 line. Rosales could draw interest from his old team, the A’s, who are in the market for middle infield depth and love Rosales’ versatility and energy.

Juan Francisco (Boston): Francisco was designated for assignment by the Blue Jays earlier this off-season and claimed by the Red Sox, but his services were no longer needed by Boston when they signed free agent Pablo Sandoval. Francisco hit 16 homers in 106 games for the Blue Jays last season and has a career .439 SLG. He has always hit well versus right-handed pitching during his six-year major-league career, although his career OBP is .297. He can’t hit lefties and is below-average defensively at the hot corner, however. Still, Francisco should find a home considering how power-starved MLB is at the moment.

Gaby Sanchez (Pittsburgh): Sanchez was designated for assignment by the Pirates last week and Pittsburgh couldn’t find a trade partner for him, so he was non-tendered. The first baseman struggled last season, posting a 679 OPS in 123 games for the Pirates. He had a 762 OPS for Pittsburgh the year before. The Pirates have now let go both of their primary first basemen from 2014 (Ike Davis was the other).

David Huff (New York – AL): The Yankees let go of Huff even after he posted a 1.85 ERA in 39 relief innings for them last season. Huff struck-out only 28 and he walked 17, however. The left-hander began the year with the Giants, and he had a 6.30 ERA in 20 innings for San Francisco. Huff has 382 innings of major-league experience and a 5.02 career ERA.

Brandon Beachy (Atlanta): Like Medlen, Beachy was lost for the 2014 season during spring training when he injured his elbow and had to undergo his second Tommy John surgery. Beachy only threw 30 innings in the big leagues in 2013 (his first season after his first Tommy John surgery), so he isn’t expected to throw that many innings in 2015. A team with interest in Beachy may offer him a creative two-year deal with a cheap commitment for 2015 and an incentive-laden deal for 2016. Beachy has a career 3.23 ERA in 267.2 major-league innings.

John Mayberry, Jr. (Toronto): Mayberry was a late-season acquisition by the Blue Jays from Philadelphia. He appeared in 15 games for Toronto, hitting .208/.333/.458 in 30 plate appearances. Mayberry played 63 games with the Phillies before the trade and hit .213/.304/.418. The right-handed hitter has a career .429 SLG. He can play the corner outfield spots and first base.

Gordon Beckham (Los Angeles – AL): Beckham was once the future for the White Sox, but he never fulfilled his early potential and was traded by Chicago to the Angels last season. Beckham actually played well for the Angels, and a team that still believes in Beckham’s potential could take his performance with Los Angeles as a sign that he is due for a breakout in 2015. Beckham can play both second and third base.

Kyle Blanks (Oakland): Blanks was designated off of the A’s roster on Friday, so it wasn’t surprising that he wasn’t tendered a contract by Oakland on Tuesday. The 6’7’’ first baseman has plenty of potential and he hit well for the A’s when healthy last season (.333/.446/.489 in 21 games), but staying healthy has been an issue for Blanks throughout his career. He missed half of last season with a calf injury and hasn’t appeared in more than 100 games since 2011. He should still generate some interest on the open market thanks to his power-hitting ability.

John Baker (Chicago – NL): Baker was the Cubs’ primary back-up catcher last season, appearing in 68 games. He hit only .192, but Baker was one of the leaders in a very young clubhouse. He is a good defensive catcher and could interest a team looking for a seasoned back-up.

Logan Ondrusek (Cincinnati): The Reds non-tendered Ondrusek after he posted a 5.49 ERA in 41 innings last season. The right-hander has appeared in at least 40 games in each of the past five seasons, including more than 60 appearances in each of the first three years of his career. He has a 3.89 ERA in 270.2 career major-league innings.

Wade LeBlanc (Los Angeles – AL): LeBlanc was an effective injury replacement for the Angels, posting a 3.45 ERA in 28.2 innings towards the end of the season when Los Angeles suffered from several injuries to their staff. The left-hander isn’t overpowering, but he had enough success in the American League last year that he may get a major-league deal with another team.

Slade Heathcott (New York – AL): Once one of the top prospects in the Yankees’ system, Heathcott has been non-tendered before ever reaching the big leagues. The outfielder has lost significant development time to injuries. He appeared in just nine games last season and has yet to appear in a game above the Double-A level. Heathcott should get plenty of interest as a minor league free agent.

Michael Kirkman (Texas): Kirkman has gone back and forth between Triple-A Round Rock and Texas each of the past five seasons. The left-hander has a career 4.98 ERA in 106.2 major-league innings. Left-handers hit only .198 against Kirkman in Triple-A last year, and he could fit a lefty specialist role with a team next season.

Wesley Wright (Chicago – NL): Wright could draw plenty of interest on the free agent market after putting up a 3.17 ERA in 48.1 innings for the Cubs last year. He allowed a lot of base-runners (1.38 WHIP), but his FIP was still a solid 3.44. The left-hander has held left-handed hitters to a .238 average over his career.

Jose Campos (New York – AL): Like Heathcott, Campos was once one of the top prospects in the Yankees’ system. The right-hander was acquired along with Michael Pineda in the Jesus Montero deal. Campos missed all of the 2014 season with injury, but he still won’t turn 23 until July. There should be plenty of suitors for his services, including the Yankees.


Other Non-Tendered Players

Francisley Bueno (Kansas City)
Scott Carroll (Chicago – AL)
Yoslen Herrera (Los Angeles – AL)
Gus Schlosser (Atlanta)
Andrew Brown (Oakland)
Scott Snodgrass (Chicago – AL)
Carlos Rivero (Seattle)
Chaz Roe (Pittsburgh)
Kraig Sitton (Colorado)
Curtis Partch (Cincinnati)
Anthony Swarzak (Minnesota)

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