MLB: The most intriguing 2020 non-tender candidates

MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - SEPTEMBER 12: Eddie Rosario #20 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates a home run against the Cleveland Indians during the game at Target Field on September 12, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Indians 8-4. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA - SEPTEMBER 12: Eddie Rosario #20 of the Minnesota Twins celebrates a home run against the Cleveland Indians during the game at Target Field on September 12, 2020 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. The Twins defeated the Indians 8-4. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images) /
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For MLB teams looking for cheap, non-tender options, there may be a small number of intriguing arms.

New York Mets LHP Steven Matz

Like the Blue Jays, the New York Mets figure to make a lot of noise this offseason with new ownership in place and a renewed sense of hope instilled in a hungry fanbase.

Marcus Stroman was so impressed with the new direction New York appears headed for that he recently signed his qualifying offer, giving New York a big rotation piece to compliment Jacob deGrom heading into 2021.

But the Mets still need rotation help. They could be major players for a Trevor Bauer or Masahiro Tanaka and have already been connected to a number of arms including Charlie Morton, Mike Minor, and Corey Kluber.

Right now, the Mets may not be in a position to non-tender Steven Matz, but if they are confident that they can land a few arms in free agency, Matz and his projected $5+ million 2021 salary may become expendable.

The 29-year-old was bad in 2020, going 0-5 with a 9.68 ERA and -0.7 fWAR, but he is coming off a 1.6 fWAR campaign in 2019 and teammates like deGrom have routinely praised the potential Matz has to find success in the big leagues. Unfortunately, that potential just hasn’t been unlocked yet. Maybe a change of scenery will be the trick.

Philadelphia Phillies RHP Vince Velasquez

Speaking of a change of scenery possibly doing the trick with a player, can the same be said for Phillies starter Vince Velasquez?

Set to make north of $4 million through arbitration, Velasquez is a non-tender candidate of the Phillies who can use that money to help fill other gaps or bring in a new arm to solidify the backend of their rotation.

After years of never reaching that breakout so many people thought was coming, it’s hard to see many Phillies fans being concerned about letting Velasquez walk.

There are few positives to look at for rebuilding teams to take a flyer on Velasquez if he does enter the market. He struck out a career-high 30% of hitters last season and featured a FIP (4.16) a full run and a half lower than his ERA (5.56).

The Phillies may be able to get something small for Velasquez in a possible trade, but odds are more likely he’s ultimately non-tendered.

Next. Where will J.T. Realmuto land?. dark

Once December 2nd rolls around and MLB teams have made their final decisions as to who gets tendered and who doesn’t, buckle up because the MLB offseason will, hopefully, be ready to kick into gear.