The Major League Baseball offseason is off to a slow start. There have been a handful of trades, zero free-agent signings, and a lifetime supply of rumors.
The market, of course, is controlled by Shohei Ohtani. There have been zero indications on where he might sign and both his agency and interested teams have been very cautious in providing insight on his historic free agency, perhaps a sign that the two-way superstar wants to keep things private.
But the free-agent market includes more options than just Ohtani, and that class will only grow after players are non-tendered ahead of Friday’s tender deadline. There have already been some trades, including Abraham Toro being traded from the Milwaukee Brewers to the Oakland A’s, as he appeared to be a prime candidate to be non-tendered.
Expect more trades of that sort by Friday night. Here’s more of what I’m hearing, and what I shared on The Baseball Insiders podcast.
Non-tender deadline team to watch
A team to watch at the non-tender deadline on Friday is the Milwaukee Brewers. I don’t anticipate the Brewers non-tendering Brandon Woodruff – that’s more of a gut feeling than sourced information – and they could look to sign him to a short-term contract extension.
But a player who is a strong non-tender candidate is Rowdy Tellez, the Brewers’ power-hitting first baseman. He’s coming off a disappointing, injury-filled season and is set to receive a raise after earning $4.95 million in 2023. It could make him expendable in Milwaukee. He’s a name to watch in the next 24 hours.
Other names to watch include the Baltimore Orioles’ Jorge Mateo and the Los Angeles Dodgers’ Ryan Yarbrough. Mateo could be the odd man out in Baltimore with their young talent on the cusp of all being in the majors. Yarbrough, meanwhile, was acquired at this past trade deadline by the Dodgers and compiled a 4.89 ERA in 38.2 innings pitched.
There will surely be others moved or non-tendered on Friday in what figures to be an active day across baseball.