During his final media session of the Winter Meetings, Yankees general manager Brian Cashman indicated the Yankees might announce their non-tender decisions today. Instead, the Yankees have announced they will wait until tomorrow, which is the deadline.
There are technically four non-tender candidates, although one of them isn’t really a candidate at all.
Melky Cabrera is arbitration eligible and could be non-tendered, but that’s not going to happen.
Chad Gaudin and Sergio Mitre are eligible and would make a little more sense, but Cashman has routinely mentioned them when discussing his rotation depth for next season. Gaudin proved valuable down the stretch last season, and it’s reasonable to think Mitre could be significantly better as continues to come back from Tommy John surgery. He was only a year removed last season.
Chien-Ming Wang is the prime non-tender candidate, and heavy speculation is that the Yankees will not offer him a contract for next season. Cashman talked about rotation depth a lot at the Winter Meetings – even Zach McAllister, who has one Triple-A start, had his name mentioned a few times – but Wang never made the list of potential starters. Cashman was either making a mistake and forgetting to mention Wang, or Cashman wasn’t forgetting him at all and was choosing not to put him on the list. Amazing that Wang could have fallen to far so fast, but he was clearly not his old self last season, and there’s no guarantee he’ll return to his old form. Agreeing to arbitration that could pay him significantly more than the $5 million he made this season seems too risky.