Should the Angels have any interest in these players likely to be non-tendered by their former clubs?
First, what exactly does "non-tendered" mean?
Non-tendered means that players who are eligible for arbitration are not offered contracts by their former club and therefore become free agents. These non-tender candidates have between 3 and 6 years of MLB service time, and are usually not offered contracts due to their growing salary even after a poor year or due to injuries. The non-tender deadline is tomorrow, at 9PM Pacific.
Of the players listed as non-tender candidates on MLBTradeRumors.com, here are a few that stand out.
Kevin Correia (Was offered a contract by the Padres): I guess the Pads aren't being as cheap as I thought! Correia has had success in the past as a reliever, and did very well as a starter last year in San Diego. His stats weren't bad away from Petco, in fact he gave up less homers on the road (6 HRs in 15 starts) than he did at home (11 HRs in 18 games). He would be a good signing.
Chad Gaudin (Was offered a contract by the Yankees): Experience in the AL West with the A's before bouncing around a bit, finishing the 2009 season with a WS ring with the Yankees. He pitched very well, but he was a bit wild. His career stats favor him staying in the AL. I could see the Angels making him an offer.
Chien-Ming Wang: Injury issues, but when he's on, he's one of the better ground ball pitchers in baseball. The Angels infield had better be on their toes with this guy on the mound. If I were Tony Reagins, I would sign him to a 1 year deal laced with incentives, IF he is healthy. He is supposedly going to be able to pitch by May.
Jeremy Accardo (Was offered a contract by the Jays): Solid reliever when healthy. Notched 30 saves in 2007 for the Jays.
Brian Tallet (Was offered a contract by the Jays): Tallet has had much more success in the majors as a reliever than a starter, as he was for 25 starts in 2009. His ERA improved every year from 2006-08 working out of the pen. If Oliver departs, this fella might just be able to step in where DO left off.
Neil Cotts: Experienced lefty reliever, but hasn't been dominant since 2005.
Mark DiFelice: Solid reliever, was 3:1 on K:BB ratio.
Garrett Atkins: Local guy, good hitter for quite a few years before slumping in 2009. As the roster stands now, I don't foresee a spot for him, but if some trades are made, perhaps he goes to 3rd, backs up for Kendry Morales at 1st, or in the DH rotation. He definitely hit better in Colorado than on the road. Red flag there.
Jack Cust: Big power, good eye, more K’s. Labeled with an iron glove, he only made two errors in the OF last year for Oakland. Still, I’d keep him at DH where ever he lands.
Jonny Gomes: Probably the nicest guy I’ve met in baseball, he would be a welcome addition to the Angels clubhouse. Good power, poor batting eye.
Dioner Navarro (was offered a contract by Tampa Bay, but other Rays C Shawn Riggins was non-tendered) : If Naps is traded (looking like a big "IF" right now), the Angels could sign Navarro to a short term deal to share catching duties with Jeff Mathis and Bobby Wilson with Hank Conger waiting in the wings. Navarro was an All-Star in 2008, but slumped mightily in 2009. He is a switch hitter.
Andy Marte: This former top prospect of the Braves and Indians hasn’t amounted to much in the bigs, however he just turned 26 and made some modest improvements last year with the Indians. I’m not saying that he could be a starter, but he could make for a decent backup at the corners…but only if we’re desperate for depth.
Former Angel Category
Alfredo Amezaga: Poor 2009, but very useful as a utility player.
Bobby Jenks (was offered a contract by the White Sox): Maybe a bit on the crazy side, definitely a bit on the husky side, but Jenks can pitch. Averaged 35 saves over the past 4 seasons. Career WHIP is 1.17. The SouthSiders GM, Kenny Williams, said today the Jenks is still their closer, but with the acquisition of J.J. Putz, there is room to question his statement. I don’t think there is any doubt that Jenks could be had in a trade.
Who else should the Angels even remotely consider? Who would you sign right now, and why?