Today, December 2nd is the deadline for teams to send an offer to players without contracts. Will the Seattle Mariners non-tender anyone who does not have a contract or is headed into arbitration?
We have arrived on December 2nd which marks the MLB contract tender deadline. If you are not quite sure what that means, it’s simply that arbitration-eligible players must have a “contract tendered” by their team before the deadline.
Arbitration eligible players (Most players who have between 3-6 years of MLB service time) must be “tendered” which means that you will enter into a contract negotiation with the player and if you can’t agree to a deal, the player and team will go into arbitration to decide the player’s salary. Every player who is tendered will have a contract with the team at some point this offseason and will not be a free agent
If players are non-tendered, they become a free agent. This commonly happens when teams don’t want to pay the salary that a player will pursue in arbitration and think that they are better off releasing the player.
There are plenty of players that have been the talk of this deadline like Gary Sanchez, but what about the Mariners? Are there any players that could be non-tendered?
So which Seattle Mariners could be non-tendered?
In all likelihood, no one.
The Mariners only have three players who are arbitration-eligible as they designated a few players who were also eligible like Carl Edwards Jr. JP Crawford is entering his first year of being arbitration-eligible and will definitely get a pay bump after winning his first Gold Glove, so there is no chance that he is a free agent at the end of today.
One of the other two players who are eligible is Mitch Haniger. Haniger is in a weird situation that, with a lot of other teams could see him hitting the open market and be non-tendered, but the belief is that Haniger will be a starting outfielder for the Mariners next season and will be fully recovered from the multiple injuries that kept him out all last year. It would be a shock if Haniger is non-tendered but you never know with multiple injuries.
The only other arbitration-eligible player is Tom Murphy. Murphy missed all of last season with a broken foot but with Austin Nola traded, he will probably be the starting catcher for the Seattle Mariners in 2021 or will platoon with Luis Torrens. Just like Haniger who also missed all of last season, it would be a shock if he is non-tendered.
So, just like last season, expect an uneventful non-tender deadline from the Mariners. However, watch out for other teams as there could be another slew of available free agents that Seattle could go after.