Hannahan and others non-tendered, Kluber has Surgery
It was a very busy day around the league yesterday as the non-tender deadline officially passed at midnight. For an in-depth explanation of the non-tender system, check out MLB Trade Rumors' write-up of the process. For our purposes, however, what is important is that Cleveland chose let Jack Hannahan, Rafael Perez, and Chris Seddon go into free agency instead of going to arbitration with them.
None of these non-tenders were a shock, as Perez and Seddon had been designated for assignment earlier in the week and Hannahan was widely reported as a likely casualty headed into Friday.
Perez, 30, was probably the least surprising non-tender. He only managed 7.2 innings in 2012 before missing the rest of the year with various ailments. One of those included his shoulder, something that could linger and derail his career. With this hanging over his head, it is no shock that the front office did not want to pay him approximately $2 million in 2013.
Seddon, 30, who pitched mostly out of the bullpen after his callup, did well in 2012, posting a 3.67 ERA and 3.94 FIP in 34.1 major league innings. Paired with his 3.44 ERA, 3.84 FIP, and 108:27 SO:BB while starting 20 games in Columbus, Seddon did a great job last season. However, he is still a marginal pitcher with only 74.0 major league innings; there are plenty of Chris Seddons that will sign minor league deals this offseason.
Hannahan, 32, had the best chance of these three of surviving the deadline. The third baseman may not be the best hitter (.244/.312/.341 line in 2012), but his defensive reputation is stellar. Ultimately, however, it is time to see if Lonnie Chisenhall is the third baseman of the future. A small market team cannot really afford the $1.5 million Hannahan was due to make in arbitration, especially after adding a similar player in Mike Aviles who will make approximately $2.3 million in 2013.
While non-tendering Hannahan makes baseball sense, the clubhouse will be hurt by his departure. Vinnie Pestano tweeted last night "Upsetting news about Hanny. Part of the business but he's the best teammate I've ever had. Not gonna find anyone who cares more for his guys"
Cleveland could still work out contracts with these three, though they are now free to explore other options. While I could see Perez and Hannahan returning, I also could see them getting better offers with more potential playing time elsewhere.
The front office did tender contracts to Shin-Soo Choo ($7.9 million), Chris Perez ($7.2 million), Justin Masterson ($5.7 million), Joe Smith ($2.7 million), Tony Sipp ($1.0 million), and Lou Marson ($800,000), who will make around $25.3 million per MLB Trade Rumors.
It was also announced last night, per Paul Hoynes, that Corey Kluber had surgery on his right knee after he injured it playing with his daughter. While it is reported that Kluber will be ready for Spring Training, this setback will not help his chances of making the major league rotation.
Kluber will turn 27 in April and only has 12 major league starts under his belt. He is a contender for the final rotation spot, but his inclusion is far from a certainty. Kluber will need a big spring to make the team and rehabbing from surgery will almost certainly set him back on some level. This is not a deal breaker, but it is something that could put Kluber behind the eight-ball in 2013.
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