Astros: Who will be left out as the non-tender deadline looms?
By Brian Murray
The non-tender deadline is near and the Houston Astros have some decisions to be made. Who will be offered a contract and who will be denied?
Tomorrow evening at 7:00 p.m. CST the non-tender deadline will come and go. That’s when the teams must tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players or let them become free agents. The Astros have ten of those players on their roster and will have to decide who will be offered a contract, if so, how much, and who will be left out.
If a contract is put out there to a player, they will still have until early February to possibly work out a deal before arbitration hearings begin. A team typically has three options.
- They can offer them a contract that they think is a fair one, usually around what the team will put on the table for arbitration.
- They could throw out a one-time low figure and the player can either accept it or walk.
- Finally, there is the option to offer no contract at all.
A majority of the Astros that are eligible for arbitration are sure to be tendered contracts. Then, there are the few that could be on the bubble and offered a lowball number or not offered anything at all.
Players that are on Houston’s roster that seem to be no-brainers to get offers are George Springer, Carlos Correa, Roberto Osuna, Lance McCullers Jr., and Aledmys Diaz. The ones I think that may be on the bubble, but most likely offered a contract, are Brad Peacock, Jake Marisnick, and Joe Biagini. The two remaining players, Aaron Sanchez and Chris Devenski, are the two players that may be the odd man out.
Devenski simply had a down year and, unfortunately, his performance level has deteriorated each and every year of his career, culminating in 2019 being the worst of his career. Aaron Sanchez arrived late last season via trade and didn’t impress before his season was cut short with shoulder issues. He underwent surgery in early September and is expected to miss a sizable portion of the 2020 season.
No matter what transpires, the offseason is about to get a little more interesting. The Winter Meetings are just a week away, followed by the Rule 5 draft. Then in January, arbitration filings by the teams and the players will be turned in prior to the hearings that will take place in February. All of this, plus the trade market heating up and free-agent signings becoming more frequent. How active will the Astros be? We’re about to find out.