One of the more important offseason dates is nearly at hand. On Wednesday teams have to decide if they will tender contracts to eligible players on their 40-man rosters. That group of is comprised of arbitration eligible players. Should a team decide to tender a contract they will have until January to propose terms. If both sides cannot agree on a dollar figure then they go to arbitration in February.
Should a team decide they won't tender a contract to an eligible player, that person immediately becomes a free agent. This becomes interesting for two reasons. The most obvious reason is that it introduces a new group of players into the free agent talent pool. Most of the players that get non-tendered are lower tier players. But for a team like the Brewers it could present them with a low cost upside play.
However sometimes players are non-tendered because they're injured or going to cost too much for the club to retain them. Sometimes it's as simple as not being a fit for that particular team. Sometimes in these cases, when that player still possess some value, a trade will happen. With the deadline just two days away we could see a few of these trades by Wednesday.
The Brewers don't have any non-tender candidates this year. Their arbitration eligible players are Jean Segura, Wily Peralta, and Will Smith. Each is worth keeping either because they bring present and future value to the team or they have some trade value. Regardless the reason each will be tendered a contract.
It's possible the Brewers could look to make a trade to acquire a non-tender candidate though. They have holes at third base, center field, and to a lesser extent--contingent on trades--at first base and catcher. There are several non-tender candidates that could fit one or more of those needs.
MLB Trade Rumors has compiled a list of arbitration eligible players that could be potential non-tender candidates. Obviously not all of those players will be non-tendered. But some of them will and some of them could be traded. The short list of names that could be of interest to the Brewers--in my opinion--include Pedro Alvarez, Chris Carter, Peter Bourjos, Ike Davis, Will Middlebrooks, and Rene Rivera.
To reiterate, not all of these players will be non-tendered. Some might get traded and a lot will probably be tendered a contract. It's also entirely possible the Brewers have little to no interest in these players. But they do have two open roster spots in advance of the Rule 5 Draft next week. So if they want to make a small trade for one of the players that do interest them they have that flexibility.