Mariners notebook: Domingo Santana, Tim Beckham non-tendered for 2020
The Mariners have made two changes to their roster ahead of Monday’s 5 p.m. PDT deadline for teams to tender 2020 contracts to players on their 40-man rosters, non-tendering Tim Beckham and Domingo Santana. The remaining players on Seattle’s 40-man roster, which now stands at 38 following the moves, were either already under contract or tendered contracts Monday.
Utility man Beckham, who the Mariners signed as a free agent on Jan. 10, was projected to make $3 million in arbitration in 2020. Currently on the Restricted List for testing positive for the performance-enhancing drug Stanozolol, the move to non-tender him was not a surprise.
As for Santana, the Mariners had shopped the outfielder both at the trade deadline in July and this offseason but were unable to find a trade partner. Despite the power that contributed to an .850 OPS in 2019, a trade partner did not emerge. There are several possible reasons why, including Santana’s higher arbitration number ($4.4 million estimate), an uncertainty of health due to an elbow issue that shut him down for a long period of time towards the end of last season, and a second half slash line of just .128/.234/.234 (.468 OPS) with a 44% strikeout rate.
With the number of young outfielders in the Mariners’ system and the goal in 2020 to see which of those are ready to play in the majors, there may not have been much of a place for Santana on Seattle’s 2020 team regardless.
The Mariners have tendered contracts to their four remaining arbitration eligible players. Their MLBTradeRumors.com arbitration estimates below:
• OF Mallex Smith, $2.7 million
• C Omar Narváez, $2.9 million
• RHP Sam Tuivailala, $900,000
• OF Mitch Haniger, $3 million
Arbitration hearings for players and clubs that are not able to come to an agreement on 2020 contracts will take place Feb. 3-21.
Ex-Mariners on the move
Some notable ex-Mariners on the move or in the baseball news on deadline day:
• In one of the bigger surprises of the day, right-handed starting pitcher Taijuan Walker was non-tendered by the Arizona Diamondbacks. Walker was traded to Arizona along with 2019 All-Star Ketel Marte in the deal that brought 2018 All-Stars Haniger and Jean Segura to the M’s.
• The Rays have non-tendered outfielder Guillermo Heredia, who was projected to make $1.1 million in arbitration. Heredia was traded to Tampa Bay last year along with Mike Zunino in the deal that brought outfielders Mallex Smith and Jake Fraley to Seattle.
• Control-challenged flamethrower Thyago Vieira has been non-tendered by the White Sox and reportedly will sign with Japan’s Yomiuri Giants. This is perhaps my favorite Vieira highlight, his final warmup pitch before his big league debut.
Thyago Vieira's Last Warmup Pitch. 😂💀 Been up to 104mph. [H/T @TReklaitis ] pic.twitter.com/taUuYFizJu
— Rob Friedman (@PitchingNinja) August 15, 2017
• The Cubs have parted with another former Mariners No. 1 as they non-tendered left-hander Danny Hultzen.
• The Blue Jays have signed both Phillippe Aumont, the Mariners’ 2007 No. 1 pick (11th overall), and Patrick Kivlehan, a 2012 fourth-round pick by Seattle, to minor league contracts with invitations to spring training. Aumont has been pitching in independent ball and international play with Team Canada.
Cruz wins again
Nelson Cruz is the recipient of the 2019 Edgar Martinez Outstanding DH Award after hitting .311/.392/.639 (1.031 OPS) with 41 home runs and 108 RBIs for the Twins. It is the second time he has been voted to receive the award, the first being with the Mariners in 2017.