Many very good players were recently non-tendered. That means that their former team decided against offering a contract to a player that is arbitration eligible. These non-tendered players will now become free agents. MLB.com has the entire list of non-tendered players. There will be a few more useful players entering the free agent market.
- Takashi Saito. He is by far the most interesting name cut loose. After dominating the entire league the last 3 seasons, he had a platelet-rich plasma injected into his elbow last year. He’s a big question mark, but I still think the Dodgers should have tendered him a contract. I mean, the guy has a career ERA under 2.00. That’s about as dominant as it gets. He might be able to get a closer’s job somewhere, but it’s possible that he doesn’t because of the great market for closers. This guy is a huge upside play, and I think that all 30 teams should consider him.
- Ty Wiggington. I’m very surprised that the Astros decided to cut him loose. He was a very solid third baseman for their team, and also has the versatility to play second base, first base, or the outfield corners. If the ‘Stros knew that they wouldn’t be able to afford him, then why didn’t they just trade him? There had to be a solid market for Ty; he’s probably a better player than Casey Blake while coming on a 1 year deal. I just can’t believe that no team was willing to take him on. Now that he’s reached free agency, there is probably going to be a large market for him. The Twins look like the perfect fit if you ask me. I’m predicting that Wiggington gets 2 years, 14 million from Minnesota.
- Joe Nelson. He had an ERA of 2.00, yet still got non-tendered. Money must be really tight in Florida. What I don’t understand is why they didn’t trade him. He is a useful reliever with a high strike-out rate. I can’t believe that no team was willing to take him on. Nelson should be able to nab a 2 year deal somewhere. He joins an already impressive corps of free agent relievers.
- Daniel Cabrera. I agree with Andy MacPhail on this one. They already know what Cabrera is, and he’s not worth the 4 million he would have received in arbitration. I guess that there were no teams interested in trading for him, but it might have just been because everyone knew he would be cut loose. He still has a lot of upside, and would make some sense for teams like the Nationals or Pirates.
- Tim Redding. I thought he would have brought something good back in a trade. He looks like a solid #4 or #5 starter, and I don’t understand how he is much worse than any of their other starting pitching options. Look for the Rockies to be a major player for him; they almost traded Willy Taveras for him before the two were non-tendered.
- Willy Taveres. I guess that it’s smart to non-tender Taveras. He’s not a starter on their team, so it makes no sense to pay him around 3 million to be a fourth outfielder. I thought he would be traded, but I guess there were no interested parties. He could be an interesting option for teams looking for speed like the White Sox or Reds. By the way, I hate the Nationals as a suitor now that they’ve aquired Josh Willingham.
- Joey Gathright. He is pretty much just like Taveras; lots of speed, low average, low OBP. Like Taveras, teams like the White Sox and Reds could make inquiries.
- Jonny Gomes. I agree with the decision to non-tender him; the Rays had better options. He still has a lot of pop, and destroys lefties. This guy could make a lot of sense for a non-contending team looking for some power. The Pirates come to mind, as he would make a solid fourth outfielder for their team.
- Chris Capuano. He was a very good pitcher in 2005 and 2006. 2007 might have been a fluke, but he was flat-out bad during that season. He missed all of last year, but could be resigned by the Brewers. The two sides seem to have mutual interest. Capuano still has a lot of upside.
I am going to predict who wins what in the playoffs today. I will start in the NL and then do the AL. This will be listed under “Predictions.”
Dodgers at Cubs
Cubs. The Dodgers are a pretty scary team in the postseason. They have been red hot going into the playoffs, and are a good all around team. Plus, they have a guy named Manny Ramirez. Takashi Saito leads a fantastic bullpen. They have a solid rotation as well. The Cubs are a better team, though. They have a better rotation and a better offense. (Assuming the Cubs don’t pitch to Manny) They have the best three man rotation of playoff teams. Plus, the Cubs are at home where they have been dominant all year. It is going to be really tough for the Dodgers to win this series.
Brewers at Phillies
Phillies. These two teams are very similar. They both have solid rotations and a great lineup. The advantage for the Phillies is a by far better bullpen. Yes, we know CC Sabathia can go 9 innings, and I think the Brew-Crew will take game 1. But after that, you have two pitchers who are returning fron injuries. If both Ben Sheets and Yovani Gallardo are completly healthy, then they’ll easily win the series. But, if those players get injured or have to come out of the game early, the Brewers will have to give the ball to that aweful bullpen. The Phillies have a light-out bullpen, however, so they won’t blow late leads like their oponent could. I like the Phils in this one.
Phillies at Cubs
Cubs. The Cubs have the best rotation of all playoff teams, and pitching is what wins in October. The Phillies have the better bullpen, but if the starters can go seven innings they can give the ball to Carlos Marmol and Kerry Wood to end the game. Both teams have great lineups, and the only thing that separates these two teams is the starting pitching. Since the Cubs have the advantage there, they have the advantage in the series. I sure hope no curse happens this time around.
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