Today is the deadline for teams to tender contracts to players who are currently not under contract for the 2023 season. This evening, a number of additional players will become free agents as a result of their teams opting not to tender them a contract for 2023.
Most players who are non-tendered are players who are arbitration-eligible, and whose teams believe the salary that the player would get in arbitration is larger than what the player is worth or would get on the open market. Along with players being non-tendered, there will likely be a few trades today, with teams dealing away arbitration-eligible players to teams more willing to pay what the player will likely earn in 2023.
With the trade for Dennis Santana earlier this week, the Rangers are down to five arbitration-eligible players this year. Those players, along with their MLBTR projected salaries, are:
Nathaniel Lowe — $4.3M
Mitch Garver — $4.2M
Taylor Hearn — $1.7M
Brett Martin — $1.5M
Jonathan Hernandez — $1M
Lowe, Hearn and Hernandez are safe. Garver and Martin are possible non-tender candidates, although it seems more likely that the Rangers would trade them than simply non-tender them.
However, the Rangers could non-tender a player who is not yet arbitration eligible. Texas has historically done that with players in order to remove them from the 40 man roster, without having to expose the player to waivers and risk them being claimed by another team. Texas then has traditionally re-signed the player to a minor league contract, which keeps them in the organization without having the player occupy a 40 man roster spot. Texas did that last year with Yohel Pozo and David Garcia, each of whom were non-tendered and then re-signed to minor league deals within a couple of days.
So we could potentially see Texas do that again today. The most likely candidate would seem to be Eli White, who the Rangers clearly like, but who has been unable to stay healthy. White is someone you could see the Rangers opting to non-tender and re-sign to a minor league deal, with an eye towards him competing for a backup outfield spot this spring.