Love Me Non-Tender


(Mitchell Layton/Getty)

The deadline to offer a contract to players with less than six years of service time was midnight last night, so a whole new batch of free agents hit the market as players were non-tendered. Most non-tenders are fringe roster players, but a few of them are actually worthwhile. The full list of non-tendered players is at MLBTR, and here are a few who could help the Yankees.

  • 1B/3B Mark Reynolds: The Yankees have a serious lack of right-handed power right now — it’s Alex Rodriguez and Mark Teixeira, that’s it — and Reynolds would definitely fill that void.  He could be an oft-used DH and third base backup while also filling in at first. Adding all those strikeouts to the lineup would stink, but I think it would be worth it for a guy on the right side of 30 who draws lots of walks (13.2 BB% last three years) and could hit 30+ dingers.
  • OF Nate Schierholtz: I’ve written about Schierholtz a few times already, so I’ll just refer you back to that. If the Bombers want a young and cheap platoon bat for right field, they’re not going to find a better one on the open market.
  • C Geovany Soto: Soto didn’t hit a lick this year (62 wRC+), but there’s at least some hope it’s BABIP-related (.222) and not irreversible erosion of his skills. He had a 95 wRC+ as recently as last season, though he is pretty poor defensively. With Russell Martin off to Pittsburgh, Soto may have the most upside (relatively speaking, of course) among free agent catchers.
  • 3B Ian Stewart: The 27-year-old Stewart has battled wrist injuries in recent years, but if the medicals check out he could be a serviceable Eric Chavez replacement on the bench. He’s shown nice power when healthy and would benefit quite a bit from Yankee Stadium’s short right field porch. Risky though. Very risky.

Reynolds and Soto are worth more discussion and I’ll probably take a more in-depth look at them in the coming days. I know a lot of people will ask about Jair Jurrjens and John Lannan, but I wouldn’t touch either. Jurrjens has been trending in the wrong direction for a few years now and has also battled lots of injuries. Lannan is a soft-tossing lefty I wouldn’t trust in the AL East. If they want to take minor league contracts and are willing to sit in Triple-A as depth for a few months, sure. No guaranteed contracts though.

Categories : Hot Stove League


  1. Rich in NJ says:

    Reynolds is definitely worth pursuing if a trade to fill that need isn’t a realistic option.

    • Laz says:

      Yes. The strikeouts would suck, but it would allow them to arod/teix regular days off. Would mean no more room for chavez probably though.

      • Rich in NJ says:

        Unless they opt for Chavez over Ibanez because he can play 1B/3B as well as DH.

        • Laz says:

          after you have the 8 starting spots, 12 pitchers, 1 catcher you have 4 roster spots.

          Nunez/Chavez/nix/Reynolds could theoretically work, and I guess Nix would be the backup outfielder.

      • Andy Pettitte's Fibula says:

        Reynolds should never be allowed anywhere near 3B. Righty DH and occassional 1B fine but the last several years, whatever value he gives you with the bat he takes away with his glove.

  2. Ted Nelson says:

    Great write up. Those are the names that stand out to me as well.

  3. NJ_Andy says:

    Good write up. I’ve wanted Reynolds for a long time, so here’s hoping it works out. He may even steal a base or two and,I seem to remember, has a sort of Jorge Posada fire ‘em up personality which could be cool in the clubhouse.

  4. Laz says:

    Definitely would look into Schierholz. Over his career he is pretty close vs righties and lefties.

  5. Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle AKA True Yankee(TM) says:

    Lannan is a soft-tossing lefty I wouldn’t trust in the AL East.

    But…but Mike the Soft-tossing lefty Narrative?! If the Orioles or Rays or 2013 AL East Champions…I mean Blue Jays pick him up it will spell almost certain doom for the Yankees!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  6. jjyank says:

    I’m definitely down with Reynolds, considering other options, especially if Chavez doesn’t come back. He won’t give them Chavez’s defense, but he’s probably the best available hitter to fill that role (barring a trade).

    I have a soft spot for Stewart after he helped me out in my fantasy league a few years ago. Not sure if he’s worth signing at this point, though.

    I also wouldn’t mind going after Schierholtz, but I feel like the team needs a right handed hitter more. Not sure if he’s necessarily a better option than Ichiro. Both lefties, both don’t walk much, both play good defense. I guess Schierholtz brings some more power and Ichiro brings some more speed. Granted, I’m not looking too deep at all the stats right now, I could be mistaken.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      In my opinion he’s a much better that Ichiro at this point. There is a chance Ichiro was asleep/bored in Seattle and will continue to produce in NY, but I don’t know how big of a chance.

      Ichiro had a .310 wOBA against RHP in 2012 and .277 in 2011. Schierholtz was right about .350 both seasons.

      Plus Schierholtz was projected to make $1.6 million this season by… I don’t know what he’ll get on the open market, but it might not be much if the Phillies couldn’t trade him.

      • Need Pitching & Hitting says:

        An added benefit of going with Schierholtz over Ichiro is that he’d still be under team control for 2014 and likely wouldn’t get much in arbitration if the Yankees decided to keep him around (this assumes he’d only get a one year contract).

        • JAG says:

          Could also be non-tendered again if it came down to it with no real downside (if he’s playing worth the money he doesn’t get non-tendered).

          I’m hugely in favor of Schierholtz over Ichiro, and I liked Ichiro.

      • Laz says:

        Agree. He only spent 1/3 of the year in NY, he was good, but who knows what he will do over a full season.

  7. Gonzo says:

    I’m sure Reynolds will come down to his cost. Nice target though.

  8. Lester Munson says:

    They should sign Reynolds so for Hughes wont have to face him, if for nothing else

  9. Mike says:

    Stay away from Reynolds! He can only hit Yankee pitching. He wont be facing them, so he wont hit!

  10. PBFog says:

    What happened to the “we need contact hitters and not just homer-happy-strike-out-hitters” narrative? Now everyone wants Mark Reynolds. Guess we’re far enough away from last season to revert back to the same old tactics.

    • JobaWockeeZ says:

      The difference is Reynolds theoretically should be had for cheap. It’s when the 15+ million guys with low contact, high power, mediocre to poor OBP’s that got on people’s nerves.

      • Rich in NJ says:

        Right. Upgrades are still necessary even if optimal solutions aren’t viable given their budgetary constraints.

      • PBFog says:

        I don’t care how much a player makes, just how they perform. It’s not my money. If a cheap player doesn’t supply what the team needs why bother?

    • Laz says:

      All comes down to who is available, and at what price. Contact hitters are preferable, but no point going out and getting a scrub just because he is a contact hitter. Sure he makes contact but he will not have power and still make outs.

  11. Mike says:

    What about Ryan Sweeney? Could be a good pick-up as a fourth outfielder/platoon bat, and will only be 28.

    • FIPster Doofus says:

      His “strength” offensively is hitting RHPs, but it still isn’t much of a strength (hence the quotation marks). Schierholtz would definitely be a better option.

  12. MannyGeee says:

    I guess I’m more surprised than anything that a guy as seemingly useful as Reynolds is available. Te other guys on this list have VERY obvious warts, but a young power hitting RH 1B/DH/3B adjacent guy (albeit one that strikes out a bit) for no money seems like someone B-more should have traded, not non-tendered. I would think he’s be a fit on most teams that aren’t the White Sox (they have the $15M version already in Adam Dunn).

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Reynolds was projected for $9 million by MLBtraderumors. It’s not a ton, but it’s also not nothing. I’m also a little bit surprised there couldn’t trade him. Between the Ks and not hitting well for a 1B for 3 years now, though, I’m not shocked at all.

      Adam Dunn put up a .390 wOBA the four seasons leading up to his free agency.

      • Preston says:

        I don’t think they even tried to trade him, from what I’ve heard they want to bring him back. They just didn’t want to do it for 9 million.

      • MannyGeee says:

        I was relatively convinced he was an OK hitting 1B and a really good hitting 3B… Except he was a shitty defensive 3B.

        Funny how seeing a guy 20 times a season can set a perception that can be completely nullified by the 140 games he plays that you DON’T see….

        Anywho, fuck it. I’d still take him. Need that righty power, man!!

        Also, I am not confident in his man-scaping prowess, but Eddard should be happy that he’s at least a right handed monster… Hairy or not is still a question mark.

  13. Joba is Einhorn...Einhorn is Joba says:

    its a shame that it has come to bottom feeding for free agents…not liking the new era of yankee baseball. I remember when the off season actually used to be fun

    • dalelama says:

      I remember when the post season used to be fun.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      They’re rounding out the roster. They already dropped $35+ million for this season on three pitchers, have one of the best rosters in baseball, and might make another splash or two.

      They signed Russell Martin through this exact same process two winters ago. Was that a “fun” off-season?

      You probably don’t remember more than maybe 10 years (and 1 championship) ago, I would guess. The 90s dynasty teams were built with a lot of “bottom-feeding.” There were journey-men, has-beens, and platoons.

      • Preston says:

        The 1997 off-season was terrible, they replaced HOFer Wade Boggs with a 30 yo who hit .203/.259/.317 the year before. No way that worked out.

    • MannyGeee says:

      Well, then enjoy the Carl Crawford era in Los Angeles. Because that’s the team you’re looking for I think.

  14. kevin w. says:

    I think Manny Parra and Ben Francisco are worth considering too in my opinion.

  15. Jacob says:

    What if we could put Reynolds in RF? What if we could throw anyone in RF?

  16. Robinson Tilapia says:

    Would definitely look into Schierholtz, even if the team continues to look to upgrade in RF afterwards. Very wary of adding an all-or-nothing guy like Reynolds and would pass. Don’t know enough about Stewart to have an opinion. I don’t see what Soto’s upside would be. You’d be hoping he’d show the same sort of offensive turnaround you hoped for when Martin first arrived, but with worse defense. Perhaps you add him to a competitive mix in Spring Training, but I’d think a bit bigger, if even possible considering the lack of real options out there.

  17. Travis L. says:

    What is everyones take on “The Beard”?

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      Ted and I had an exchange as to him in the previous thread. I question price tag versus what he’d actually bring in a non-closing role. I don’t think he necessarily gets a “prove yourself” kind of deal.

    • Gonzo says:

      I’m not sure he’ll be worth what I think it might cost for the Yankees.

    • Jacob says:

      I think he would be a good non closer option for the pen, possibly does good and becomes closer next year? who knows, nice option but I have no clue what his price tag would be and I would not pay him more than 2mm

    • Preston says:

      Being a short inning reliever takes a certain mind-set. I think that a lot of Wilson’s success comes from the persona that he’s cultivated for himself. I think if he’s not a closer and he’s not “the beard” he isn’t the same pitcher. This is of course just me being an armchair psychologist and my belief has no concrete basis in fact or reality.

    • JAG says:

      Have to think he’d get more than he’s worth. He also doesn’t strike me as a guy willing to set up when he could close (total guess tho, nothing but a hunch to back that up).

    • MannyGeee says:

      Fuck Wilson. He is actually not all that good, and the contract you’d be offering is basically paying for his recovery and “re-discover your location” time that comes with every TJS guy.

      At least if you offer that money to Soria, you know what you’re getting when he’s right.

      Also, I think Wilson is kind of an ass clown. I dislike him personally (well I don’t know him personally, but I don’t like his personality, as he is the polar opposite of Mariano, who I personally love… Although I also don’t know Mo personally)

      • Jacob says:

        Well if it comes down to Wilson and Soria, I would pay soria 10/10 because he was better than wilson before either had TJS(both also had it 2 times) and he is younger I think he will bounce back easily

  18. Favrest says:

    They need a major league catcher. Soto is a major leaguer but he’s not much of an upgrade over Martin. Cashman has a lot of work to do. No way is Austin Romine our catcher. That guy could barely crack the starting line up in Scranton.

    • JAG says:

      Soto is barely an upgrade over Cervelli unless he massively turns it around. He’s nowhere near Martin.

      That said, would still want to see what he’s looking for $$$-wise. If he’s cheap enough, no harm in offering a 1-year deal.

    • MannyGeee says:

      Not at all an upgrade over Martin, Cervelli or that Lettuce Guy. Major upgrade over Eli Whiteside though.

    • Chris Widger says:

      Soto isn’t that far removed from being a force in the middle of the Cubbies’ order. And if he rebounded that fills the righty power gap left by Martin.

      We lived with Posada for years. Soto can’t possibly be worse than the older version of Jorge. He should come cheap. I don’t often say this, but this is a move Cashman has to make, unless he’s got good info that Soto’s struggles are due to something besides BABIP.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      Not many Cs are much of an upgrade over Martin… Soto at least has the potential to be.

  19. the tenth inning stretch says:

    What about Jesus Flores?

    • Gonzo says:

      Hasn’t been the same since that big shoulder injury. Not sure if that will get better or what his prospects are for 2013 though.

  20. Miked says:

    Reynolds might hit 800 homers playing half his games at new Yankee Stadium

  21. Brooklyn Nets says:

    Trade the entire farm system for Stanton. Seriously. Just tell the Marlins they can have every single player in out minor league system.

    None of them will amount to Stanton anyway.

  22. Matt says:

    Would love to see the Yankees pick Schierholtz. Don’t know why, I’ve just always like him throughout his career.

  23. Flyer7 says:

    Can Schierholz also play some 1B ala Swishalicious?

  24. pat says:

    Great freakin title Mike. One of my fav songs of all time.

  25. Chris says:

    Going to get killed for this but….if the Yankees need an OF and right-handed pop, then why not Alfonso Soriano on a salary dump? It kind of upsets the austerity budget but, in theory, Alfonso’s contract the same as remaining years on Rafael Soriano’s contract had he not opted out.

    • Chris says:

      Or he can DH…..

      • Preston says:

        It all depends on how much the Cubs are willing to eat of his salary and what kind of prospects they want in return. I’m not opposed to him being a LF/DH option, but I also don’t expect him to produce like he did last year again.

    • Miked says:

      I like it. They never should have traded him in the first place

    • Chris Widger says:

      No seriously, after watching him last year, why not? yes, he still swings at everything, and his walk rate hasn’t improved much at all, and he’s not nearly as good an outfielder as his athleticism would suggest, but he’s still got a strong arm, the Cubs are desperate to get rid of him, and the right-handed power is really needed.

  26. Andrew J. says:

    How about Daniel Schlereth for the bullpen? C the Tigers are saying bye-bye to the son of the ESPN commentator/ex-NFL lineman.

  27. fuster says:

    Soto—– ” didn’t hit a lick” and is “pretty poor defensively” but I guess there’s still a lot to like about him…….

    he dresses well, doesn’t litter, loves to dance, and was once voted “most congenial”

    • Chris Widger says:

      um, two years ago he was a lot better than 2012 Russell Martin at the dish? Last year was a catastrophe by any standards but it’s not like a) he’s never produced before and b) he’s ancient. He’s 29. without Russell’s chronic injury problems.

  28. Wayne says:

    How about mike pelfrey we would’nt lose a draft pick. One year deal with him. Worth a shot!

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