Today is one of those quiet offseason days that actually means something, even without a major award announcement or any sort of league-wide meeting.
Midnight is the deadline to tender contracts for the 2012 season. For guys like Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson, it doesn’t matter — and it probably passes without notice — but for guys with a borderline spot on the roster, there’s a chance of being dismissed.
Last year, the Yankees non-tendered Dustin Moseley and Alfredo Aceves. Moseley was due for a raise in arbitration, Aceves had health concerns, and the Yankees had enough long-relief/spot-starter depth that they could afford to move on. You could very easily make the case that each decision was a mistake by the Yankees. You could also argue that long relief and back-of-the-rotation depth was a non-issue.
Moseley wound up injured, but still pitched to a 3.30 ERA in 20 starts with the Padres. Aceves stayed healthy and finished with 10 wins and a 2.61 with the Red Sox. The fact Aceves’ success came with Boston obviously added some salt to the wound. Even though not having Aceves allowed Hector Noesi to emerge last season, my guess is the Yankees wish they had Aceves back.
Right now, the Yankees 40-man roster includes some borderline players without obvious spots for next season, but those players are cheap. The arbitration-eligible players who are due for a raise have significant roles to play.