Friday was the non-tender deadline for baseball, meaning that it was the final day teams could tender non-guaranteed deals to their arbitration-eligible (and pre-arbitration) players before they hit the open market. Earlier this week we discussed some non-tender possibilities for the Red Sox this year, but it turns out the team is going to keep everyone on the roster, at least for now. As mentioned, these contracts are non-guaranteed and a player has to make it through spring training to guarantee them the money.
If the Red Sox were going to non-tender anyone this year, Tyler Thornburg was always going to be the most likely. After not pitching at all in 2017, the righty did get back to the mound in 2018 but was inconsistent at best and straight-up bad at worst. Still, there is a chance for some of that talent he showed in Milwaukee back in 2016 to come back, and the Red Sox are giving it one more chance. Thornburg and the team agreed to a one-year, $1.75 million deal with $400,000 in incentives, avoiding arbitration. The deal comes in about $550,000 less than the projected figure from MLB Trade Rumors.
Meanwhile, the other arbitration-eligible players were tendered deals but have not agreed to anything just yet. That’s not anything to worry about, though. All it means is that the players, including guys like Mookie Betts and Xander Bogaerts, will not be able to hit the open market this year. For the pre-arbitration players, the Red Sox will announce their salaries later in the offseason. Typically, those fall in the $500,000-$600,000 range, though players like Andrew Benintendi could get more than that. For arbitration-eligible players, teams and players have until February to agree to deals before heading to an arbitration trial. In early January, they will exchange figures which can then be used in negotiations in hopes of avoiding a trial.
We’ll keep you updated on any developments on this front.