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March 5, 2013 5:00 am

Painting the Black: The Flawed Free Agents Who Are Left

4

R.J. Anderson

Nobody else is talking about these free agents, but we will.

Opening Day 2013 is fewer than four weeks away. That means the time to talk about free agents is behind us. Even when the spotlight does turn to those remaining unemployed players it tends to hover on Kyle Lohse and Jose Valverde. Yet there are numerous other notable players still available. Let's take a look at a few of their situations.

Bobby Abreu
Latest MLB Trade Rumors mention: 2/15, "The Orioles may consider signing outfielder Bobby Abreu, but first plan to 'see what they have in camp.'" 


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It's the time for non-tenders. R.J. looks back at last year's giveaways to see which fared the best.

Expect to hear about the non-tender deadline a lot over the next four weeks. Teams must determine by November 30th which arbitration-eligible players to tender contracts to. The players deemed unworthy will experience one of the sport’s oddest existences. Although the players are technically free agents, their market worth is limited. Teams have no incentive to offer this subset of players more than a one-year deal since they retain the players’ rights through their arbitration years regardless. Non-tendered players are almost by definition undeserving of a raise, so they usually take pay cuts on the open market.

Despite the odd existence, the pool of non-tendered players intrigues fans and media alike. Many of these players have a marketable skill or two that could prove useful in the right situation. Everyone likes finding the diamond in the trash. But dumpster diving correctly usually means finding more slime than treasure. That never seems to stop us, so we hunt on, with our hearts full of hope and our pockets full of hand sanitizer.

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