Normally the deadline for tendering contracts is not newsworthy, but in the wake of sizable financial losses last season due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Major League clubs made difficult decisions before Wednesday’s deadline to cut their payroll.
The New York Yankees were rumored to be contemplating not retaining catcher Gary Sanchez after a disastrous year and losing his starting job to backup Kyle Higashioka in the playoffs, but the club chose to tender the 28-year-old backstop a contract in hopes of turning the former top prospect around.
Sanchez, who hit .147 with 10 HR’s in 156 at-bats last season, will likely make $6 million in 2021 after salary arbitration, a price significantly less than the expected cost for free agent catchers J.T. Realmuto or James McCann.
Minnesota outfielder Eddie Rosario hit .276 with 32 HR’s and 109 RBI’s in 2019, but after a subpar 2020, the Twins chose not to tender the 29-year-old and pay him more than the $7.75 million he made last season.
After averaging 20 HR’s in four seasons with Texas, outfielder Nomar Mazara hit only one for the White Sox and was non-tendered by Chicago along with former top pitching prospect Carlos Rodon, as was former Philadelphia third baseman Maikel Franco by Kansas City.
Relievers Jonathan Holder (New York), Hansel Robles (Los Angeles), and Matt Wisler (Minnesota) were also not offered contracts.
It is expected that many of these players will get interest from other clubs, as non-tendered National Leaguers Kyle Schwarber, David Dahl, Adam Duvall, and Albert Almora will, but at a much lower salary than they would have received.