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Tuesday, December 12, 2006

MLB Non-Tender Deadline is Here

Today is the deadline by which MLB teams must decide whether or not to offer a contract for 2007 to arbitration-eligible players. Baseball Prospectus mastermind Joe Sheehan highlights the Astros' situation in particular in his column today, which as always, I highly recommend.

Sheehan suggests that Mike Lamb, Morgan Ensberg and Brad Lidge present interesting dilemmas for the Astros at this deadline because they have performed well in the past but are coming off of disappointing seasons (especially Ensberg and Lidge). As Sheehan writes about Lidge:

To get an idea of the thought process, consider what would happen if the Astros were to non-tender Lidge. His arbitration salary will likely be between $5 million and $8 million. (The broad range is one reason teams non-tender players; they don’t like the uncertainty.) If Lidge were to go on the market, though, he'd be in line for a multi-year deal, most likely at $7 million or more. Danys Baez isn’t nearly as good as Lidge is, and he got three years, $19 million from the Orioles. That's the absolute floor for Lidge.

As Sheehan points out in his piece, the skyrocketing free agent market makes it nearly impossible for a team to let a player of any consequential value walk at today's deadline. Sheehan compares Lidge to Danys Baez, who signed a three year, $19M contract with the Orioles this offseason, and rightly suggests that Lidge would attract offers much, much greater than Baez's deal if he hit the open market. Sheehan also writes that in years past, the Astros could have chosen to keep either Ensberg or Lamb, but not both. This year, thanks to the inflated salaries and the Astros' abysmal offense, the Astros will likely cling on to every bat within their grasp, meaning that it would be quite surprising for Ensberg or Lamb to be non-tendered at today's deadline. The consequence would be that the Astros would have to out-bid other teams for another hitter's services, a feat that already resulted in one of the most outrageous free agent deals in the history of baseball, Carlos Lee's new deal with Houston.

1 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

^^ nice blog!! ^@^

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