Unsurprisingly the Marlins offered contracts to everyone on the 40-man roster.
Players with less than three years of big-league experience basically can be signed for whatever the club wants to pay them as long as it's at or above the major-league minimum of $380,000.
But it was an important date for the team's four arbitration-eligible players -- catcher Miguel Olivo, pitchers Dontrelle Willis and Kevin Gregg and infielder Miguel Cabrera. If the Marlins had failed to offer any of the four contracts, they would have become free agents.
And with contract offers now on the table, the team and the agents for each player have less than a month to work out a deal before the date to file for binding arbitration, where the club and the player submit salary figures to an arbitrator, who picks between the two offers.
If any player who is on the Marlins 40-man roster wants to play professional baseball next season, they will be signing a contract with Florida, assuming they aren't traded in the interim.
The Fish are reportedly close to working out a deal with Willis and may avoid arbitration in his case. Cabrera, however, is playing it close to the vest and his contract could go to the arbitrator. I wouldn't blame him if he did - he has a chance of getting the largest monetary contract ever awarded to a first year arbitration eligible player.
The Marlins offering a contract to everyone was expected, other teams didn't follow suit. There were 28 players who are now non-tendered free agents.
Here is the list:
- Marcus Giles - 2B (Braves)
- Chris Reitsma - RHP (Braves)
- Alexis Gomez - OF (Tigers)
- Aaron Guiel - OF (Yankees)
- Chin-Hui Tsao - RHP (Rockies)
- Jason Bulger - RHP (Angels)
- Joel Pineiro - RHP (Mariners)
- Victor Zambrano - RHP (Mets)
- Jon Knott - OF (Padres)
- Jayson Werth - OF (Dodgers)
- Toby Hall - C (Dodgers)
- Mike Woods - RHP (Rangers)
- Damon Hollins - OF (Devil Rays)
- Rick Ankiel - OF (Cardinals)
- Jorge Sosa - RHP (Cardinals)
- Aaron Rakers - RHP (Orioles)
- Todd Williams - RHP (Orioles)
- David Newhan - OF (Orioles)
- Eduardo Sierra - RHP (White Sox)
- Brandon Duckworth - RHP (Royals)
- Scott Dohmann - RHP (Royals)
- Luis Rodriguez - 3B (Twins)
- Willie Eyre - RHP (Twins)
- Jerome Williams - RHP (Athletics)
- Jose A. Reyes - C (Cubs)
- Adam Harben - RHP (Cubs)
- Miguel Perez - C (Reds)
- Brandon Claussen - RHP (Reds)
There are some interesting names on the list which may fit into the Marlins plans and hopefully into the budget. Then again, with the prices free agents are commanding this year - who knows. But it does give Beinfest and company a few more options to consider.