2023 Non-Tender Candidates

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The offseason will get underway no later than this weekend. While the first few days will be defined by option decisions and qualifying offers, the focus turns to arbitration-eligible players shortly thereafter.

As is the case each winter, MLBTR contributor Matt Swartz has projected salaries for that group. Those figures are not locked in, with teams free to decline to tender contracts to anyone on their 40-man roster who isn’t already on a guaranteed deal. A non-tender sends a player directly to free agency without exposing them to waivers. This offseason’s non-tender deadline is Friday, November 17.

Not everyone who is tendered a contract will know their salary by that date. Some players will sign “pre-tender” deals that lock in guaranteed money within the next couple weeks. Many of them are borderline non-tender candidates who will take salaries below the projection to ensure they stay on the roster at all. Those who don’t sign but are tendered a contract could have a few months of uncertainty. They’re free to continue negotiating with their clubs to find a mutually agreeable salary until the date of their arbitration hearing, which typically runs from mid-February into the beginning of March.

With the non-tender deadline a couple weeks away, we’ll take a look at arb-eligible players we believe have a realistic shot at being let go. To be clear, this is not a list of players we think are likelier than not to be non-tendered. These are players we consider to have at least a 10% chance of being cut — a broad group who wouldn’t strike us as completely surprising.

At least a few of these players will likely be traded within the first couple weeks of the offseason, as some teams will have more willingness than others to accommodate various projected salaries. Hunter RenfroeGio Urshela and Kevin Newman were all traded in deals of this ilk last fall.

Onto the list, with Matt’s projected salaries:

Catchers

First Basemen

Second Basemen

Third Basemen

Shortstops

Center Fielders

Corner Outfielders

Designated Hitter

Starting Pitchers

Right-Handed Relievers

Left-Handed Relievers

* Kelly’s projected arbitration salary exceeds the option price

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