The Chicago Cubs have a great opportunity to improve their team by signing players that were recently non-tendered by their former clubs. Who could show up in Cubs rumors?
An MLB player with less than six years of service time needs to be offered a contract by their current club prior to the non-tender deadline each offseason. If a player with less than six years of service time is not offered a contract, that player becomes an unrestricted free agent.
Reaching free agency after being non-tendered allows a player to sign a major league or minor league contract with any team. If a player is able to reach an agreement with a new club, that player will be unable to return to free agency until either the end of their new agreement, reaching six years of service time, or being non-tendered once again.
An example of a player that signed with a new team while still having additional years of team control left came when Kelly Johnson was non-tendered by the Atlanta Braves ahead of the 2010 regular season. As Johnson was free to sign with any team after being non-tendered, he was able to secure a one-year, $2.35 million contract to become a member of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
A mediocre slash-line of .224/.303/.389 alongside only 20 doubles and 8 home runs in 2009 spurred the Braves decision to non-tender Johnson. However, after putting together an impressive slash-line of .284/.370/.496 alongside 36 doubles and 26 home runs in 2010, the Diamondbacks decided to tender a contract to Johnson for the 2011 season as he was still under team control.
Although there are a lot of non-tendered players that do not go on to have the same amount of success as Johnson did in Arizona, there are plenty of cases of players performing well after a change in scenery. After all, Russell Martin was once non-tendered by the Los Angeles Dodgers and went on to have quite a solid career.
As there are a lot of intriguing players available in free agency now that the non-tender deadline has expired, the following are five options that would fill current roster needs for the Chicago Cubs.