When a club non-tenders a player, it declines to give that player a contract for the upcoming season, thereby immediately making him a free agent. Players on the 40-man roster with fewer than six years of Major League service time must be tendered contracts each offseason by the deadline, or non-tendered and released to the free-agent pool.
Rivera, 33, hit .222 with six home runs in 65 games for the Mets, becoming a frequent starter during Travis d’Arnaud‘s late-season struggles. But with the Mets committed to giving d’Arnaud another crack at the everyday gig in 2017, Rivera profiles as an expensive backup, poised to make more than $2 million in his final year of arbitration eligibility. It’s possible the Mets could non-tender Rivera and either try to re-sign him at a lesser price, or ink a cheaper veteran to compete with Kevin Plawecki in Spring Training.
There was some thought earlier in the summer that Lucas Duda, who missed much of the year to a stress fracture in his lower back, might be a non-tender candidate, especially given his escalating salary — he’s due a raise over the $6.725 million he made through arbitration last season. But the Mets know they don’t have any viable alternatives, and aren’t likely to find a cheaper first baseman with Duda’s power on the open market.
Most of the Mets’ other arbitration-eligible players — d’Arnaud, Jacob deGrom, Josh Edgin, Jeurys Familia, Wilmer Flores, Matt Harvey, Addison Reed and Zack Wheeler — are key parts of the roster. One exception is reliever Jim Henderson, whose $600,000 salary last year makes him unlikely to make significant money as a first-time arbitration-eligible player. As such, he is not an obvious non-tender candidate.
Anthony DiComo has covered the Mets for MLB.com since 2008. Follow him on Twitter @AnthonyDiComo and Facebook, and listen to his podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.
Source: Mets News / Will Mets keep Rivera at non-tender deadline?