Midnight ET Thursday morning is the deadline for decision on whether to tender a contract to arbitration eligible players. For the most part, it should be full of easy decisions for the White Sox, but they have already surprised us with the "Punt a reliable shortstop to the moon" decision. Who knows what's up their sleeve?
Arbitration estimates courtesy of MLB Trade Rumors.
--Tyler Flowers, $3.5 million: Well, he is probably the starting catcher, so yeah, go ahead and splurge a bit here and give him his money.
--Nate Jones, $900,000: It's alarming to think that Nate Jones has not really realized his true potential and is already 30--He didn't debut until age 26 and then lost a year and a half--but here we are. He might be the No. 2 at the pen and is a lowkey very good trade chip at this price.
--Jacob Turner, $1 million: I certainly wouldn't want to be the GM asking ownership for a million dollars to pay Jacob Turner to likely not make your Opening Day roster, but you have already come this far, Rick.
--Dan Jennings, $700,000: Jennings certainly has an odd case between a fairly disastrous first half--exacerbated by tons of intentional walks--and not really having the statistical record to back up claims of being lefty specialist. But he throws low-to-mid 90s with good sink, has a sweeper slider that he's flashed on occasion and struck out 46 to 18 unintentional walks in 56.1 innings. He doesn't seem great, but the lefty relief situation that prompted the trade to bring him in hasn't improved and he costs under a million. I believe in Dan Jennings as a functional lefty reliever.
--Avisail Garcia, $2.3 million: Well, they're going to do it so why even bother getting upset? This salary shouldn't be prohibitive to teams looking to take a post-hype flier on Garcia, and also still doesn't hurt very much if he just plays and is completely worthless again.
--Zach Putnam, $800,000: Putnam had a thoroughly weird, and near the end, injury-marred season, but also struck out 64 batters in 48.2 innings throwing splitters over and over again. He will be back and it will be great.
Other team's non-tenders:
So, not sure if you knew this, but teams tend to only non-tender really bad players. It's the damnedest thing, and it really sucks the air out of perusing MLB Trade Rumors non-tender candidates.
If there's anything the non-tender potential crop is rich in, it's positionless mashers on the decline. They're awful roster fits, but it's hard not to notice that guys like Pedro Alvarez, Brandon Moss and Chris Carter are all solid bets to outperform Adam LaRoche in 2016. Chris Carter's garish strikeout rate is a concern, but he's also the least likely to be recruited to play actual defense (Moss might get shoved into the outfield, Alvarez came up as a third baseman, and the Sox currently have a pitch-back net positioned there).
The Sox have less of a need to find post-hype bullpen arm, so they can wait around for someone Don Cooper identifies as a specifically good fi--and, wait...Addison Reed, is that you? Nothing says "won the trade" like signing your former closer after he got non-tendered while the prospect you dealt him for is hopelessly mired in Triple-A.