Minnesota Twins look to tender all arbitration-eligible players


The non-tender deadline for arbitration-eligible players is on Friday, but the Minnesota Twins look to tender all of their players.

The Minnesota Twins have until 7 p.m. CT on Friday to non-tender arbitration-eligible players. In other words, they can non-tender players with three to six years of MLB service and allow them to become free agents, seemingly avoiding a rather lengthy arbitration process.

Basically, the process works as a means of securing fair contracts for veteran players. At the same time, they keep players under team control for at least six seasons. Once a player is tendered, they are obligated to settle a contract with their respective teams. While they can agree to a one-year or multi-year deal at any time during the process, the worst case scenario finds the team and player attend an arbitration hearing to settle the contract dispute.

Often times, arbitration salaries are based on contracts of similar veteran players. As a result, players worth non-tendering are usually injury-prone or underperforming players that a team doesn’t find worth a contract. In the case of the Twins though, they apparently believe their whole arbitration class is deserving of contracts for at least another season.

Of course, there aren’t many surprises here, although Kyle Gibson could be considered as such. According to MLB Trade Rumors, he has the highest projected salary figure at $5.3 million, even though he’s had back-to-back 5.07 ERA seasons. To Gibson’s credit, he performed great after the All Star break last season, posting a 7-3 record and 3.76 ERA. Even so, he’s arguably been the most frustrating player on the Twins over the last couple years given his lack of consistency. Undoubtedly, the Twins’ lack of starting pitching depth helps him in this case.

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On a more positive note, Eduardo Escober will return with a nice contract. Currently, MLB Trade Rumors projects him to make $4.9 million, which is definitely fair value for the Venezualan. As the ultimate utility player for the Twins, Escobar stepped up big time in 2017 replacing the injured Miguel Sano at third base. In fact, he turned in his best season as a pro, hitting .254 with a career-high 21 home runs and 73 RBIs. Not to mention, he led the Twins with nine September home runs in a stretch run that ended with a playoff berth.

As for the rest of the likely tendered players, Robbie Grossman and Ehire Adrianza played key roles off the bench and should be counted on to continue those roles in 2018. Like Gibson, Ryan Pressly struggled mightily prior to the All Star break last season, but rebounded nicely with a 2.62 ERA and 31 strikeouts in 34.1 innings following the break. Lastly, Trevor May looks like a possible dark horse starting pitching candidate after missing 2017 with a torn UCL.

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While the Twins could still non-tender players before Friday’s deadline, all indications suggest otherwise. If all players are tendered, Minnesota has until late January, early February to negotiate deals with these players. Whatever deals don’t get done will head to arbitration hearings where the contract(s) will be settled. Nevertheless, the Twins look to have plenty of faces returning to the fold for the 2018 season.