The Yankees have until midnight to decide whether to tender contracts to players under team control for 2011.
With Sergio Mitre re-signed, Dustin Moseley is the most obvious non-tender candidate remaining.
My guess is he’ll be back.
As a general rule, non-tender decisions come down to money and roster space.
Last year, the Yankees non-tendered Chien-Ming Wang. That was clearly a money decision. Wang was heading for arbitration, with no guarantee that he was going to pitch, much less pitch effectively. The Yankees didn’t want to commit to the money, so they couldn’t commit to the player.
In 2008, the Yankees non-tendered Chris Britton and Justin Christian. Both were in line to make the minimum, and Christian definitely had options remaining. Maybe Britton, too. The Yankees 40-man, though, was packed and the team needed to open some space.
There is no roster crunch this year. Even after Rule 5 protection, there are seven open roster spots. That’s enough for Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, Cliff Lee, a left-handed reliever and a couple of role players. If the Yankees decided they need another spot, they could easily take a chance on slipping Reegie Corona through waivers.
The only issue is money, and Moseley is in his first year of arbitration eligibility, so he shouldn’t cost much. Given the health problems of Alfredo Aceves, it makes sense to keep Moseley as a low-cost option in spring training. I’d argue that Moseley is just as likely to make next year’s bullpen as Mitre. Clearly the Yankees liked Moseley last winter, and he’s only improved his stock since then.
The Yankees other arbitration-eligible players are Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain and Boone Logan. All three are likely to cost significant money, but they’re also expected to play significant roles next season. Hard to imagine any of them being non-tendered.
Associated Press photo