Tomorrow is the non-tender deadline. So what is that?
Players with between 3-5 years of MLB experience are arbitration eligible. Teams can retain them by simply offering them a contract. If the player doesn’t like the offer, the sides can go to arbitration.
Arbitration is a nasty business that involves the team running down the virtues of a player they will be keeping just to save money. It creates bad feelings and most teams try to avoid it.
If a team doesn’t want to risk arbitration or simply wants to get rid of the player, they can “non-tender” him. Those players then become free agents. Boston signed David Ortiz after Minnesota non-tendered him.
The Yankees have four players to make decisions on: INF Wilson Betemit, RHP Brian Bruney, 2B Robinson Cano and RHP Chien-Ming Wang.
Betemit, Cano and Wang will be offered contracts and probably sign before they go to arbitration. Given their production, Cano and Wang will be in for major raises. The Yankees might even entertain the idea of signing them to long-term deals, which is what the Mets did with Jose Reyes and David Wright. Curiously, the Yankees never do that.
Bruney is a question mark. He throws hard but lacks command and has been oddly resistant to advice. Opponents had an .887 OPS against Bruney in the second half and he walked 12 batters in 15 innings.
He could be worth keeping if only to see if new pitching coach Dave Eiland can get through to him. But with the Yankees needing roster spots, it wouldn’t be surprise if they cut Bruney loose.