Teams have until midnight tonight to tender a contract to players on the 40-man roster. If not, those players immediately become free agents. Here is a list of potential non-tender candidates from MLB Trade Rumors and some of the more interesting names to watch (projected 2016 arbitration salaries from Matt Swartz of MLB Trade Rumors via Baseball-Reference.com):
2015 salary: $5.75 million
2015 WAR: 0.1
Estimated 2016 salary: $8.1 million
We know the Pirates have been trying to trade him, and given his atrocious defense, inability to hit left-handers and the impending arrival of prospect Josh Bell (perhaps as soon as midseason 2016), the Pirates probably need to use Alvarez's money to enhance their starting rotation. Prediction: Non-tender. Although agent Scott Boras expects the Pirates to tender a contract. Of course, what would you expect Boras to say?
Jeff Locke, Pittsburgh Pirates
2015 salary: $531,000
2015 WAR: minus-0.7
Estimated 2016 salary: $3.5 million
Since making the All-Star team in 2013 with a strong first half, Locke has gone 17-22 with a 4.54 ERA. Now he starts to get more expensive as he enters his arbitration years. The one thing he did do in 2015 was make 30 starts, and his 3.95 fielding independent pitching was more respectable than his 4.49 ERA. Prediction: Tender. His salary isn't that high yet, and the Pirates already have a couple of holes to fill in the rotation with the retirement of A.J. Burnett and departure of J.A. Happ, so they need Locke just for innings depth.
2015 salary: $1.88 million
2015 WAR: minus-0.1
Estimated 2016 salary: $2.5 million
Remember, Tejada had become the team's starting shortstop by the playoffs, only to see his season end when Chase Utley broke his leg. That could be a factor in the Mets' decision along with Triple-A shortstop Matt Reynolds being a viable backup to Wilmer Flores. There has also been speculation the Mets could sign free agent Ian Desmond and move Flores to second base or to the bench as a backup for three infield positions. Prediction: Non-tender. Tejada's defensive metrics were way down in 2015 (minus-15 defensive runs saved at shortstop), so even though he's not an automatic out at the plate, his value is minimal.
Addison Reed, New York Mets
2015 salary: $4.88 million
2015 WAR: 0.5
Estimated 2016 salary: $5.7 million
Reed has a 4.01 ERA in his career, so even though he pitched well for the Mets in 17 appearances, $5.7 million is a lot to pay for a mediocre reliever. But -- the Mets don't have a lot of bullpen depth, though they are expected to tender a contract to Jenrry Mejia, who was suspended for most of 2015 and will miss the first 100 games of 2016. Prediction: Non-tender. I'd rather spend $7.2 million on something besides Tejada and Reed.
2015 salary: $4.1 million
2015 WAR: 2.6
Estimated 2016 salary: $6.7 million
Revere has hit .305, .306 and .306 the past three seasons, so you know what you're getting, even if that doesn't come with any power or many walks. His defensive metrics were terrible as a center fielder with the Phillies in 2014 but OK as a left fielder, and the Jays liked his performance and speed from the leadoff spot. Prediction: Tender.
Michael Saunders, Toronto Blue Jays
2015 salary: $2.88 million
2015 WAR: minus-0.1
Estimated 2016 salary: $2.9 million
Saunders has been a decent player when healthy -- he averaged 2.0 WAR per season with Seattle from 2012 to 2014 -- but has played just 87 games the past two seasons, including nine in 2015 when he tore cartilage in his knee stepping on a sprinkler. If the Jays bring back Revere, they have Dalton Pompey and Ezequiel Carrera as backups currently on the 40-man roster. Prediciton: Tender. The Jays should be able to afford $2.9 million, and given the age of some of their regulars, Saunders would give them needed roster depth and give Pompey more time in the minors.
2015 salary: $8.25 million
2015 WAR: 0.2
Estimated 2016 salary: $11.3 million
This is an easy one because Holland will miss the season with Tommy John surgery. Prediction: Non-tender. Holland could end up signing a two-year deal with some team that wants to bring him in for 2017.
2015 salary: $4.18 million
2015 WAR: minus-0.1
Estimated 2016 salary: $5.6 million
Carter was worth 2.0 WAR in 2014 when he hit 37 home runs and slugged .491, but his slash line fell to .199/.307/.427 and he's not exactly Jeff Bagwell on defense. Prospect A.J. Reed hit 34 home runs between Class A and Double-A while hitting .340 with 86 walks. He might be close to ready, and the Astros could give Jon Singleton another chance at first base if they have to wait a few months for Reed. Prediction: Non-tender.
2015 salary: $6.5 million
2015 WAR: minus-0.5
Estimated 2016 salary: $7.9 million
The Cardinals acquired Moss from the Indians to help out after injuries to Matt Adams and Matt Holliday. Though reports are that the Cardinals aren't that interested in Chris Davis for first base, they do have Adams back and can shift Stephen Piscotty to first if they re-sign Jason Heyward (or another outfielder). Prediction: Non-tender.
Steve Cishek, St. Louis Cardinals
2015 salary: $6.65 million
2015 WAR: minus-0.2
Estimated 2016 salary: $7.1 million
Cishek struggled early on with the Marlins but righted himself and had a 2.31 ERA in 23 innings with the Cardinals. Still, his walk rate remained high and the Cardinals have plenty of bullpen depth. Prediction: Non-tender. No reason to pay the fifth or sixth reliever in the bullpen $7 million.