Major League Baseball's non-tender deadline brought some additional intrigue to the offseason as teams cut ties with some arbitration-eligible players, adding a number of players to the free-agent pool.
Here is a re-examination of this winter's free agency following Friday's deadline.
There are plenty of new free agents that rebuilding teams can take a flier on with a short-term contract. Clubs could look to flip the player at the deadline or hope a change of scenery rejuvenates him and leads to a long-term marriage. The player, meanwhile, can attempt to rebuild his value heading into next winter. There's no shortage of value to be found is this year's crop.
Matt Davidson, for example, hit 46 home runs in 241 games over the last two seasons. His .291 OBP and 330 strikeouts are a concern, but a team looking for power from either corner infield spot should take a chance on the 27-year-old.
Davidson's former White Sox teammate Avisail Garcia was too expensive - projected to make roughly $10 million in arbitration - for Chicago to keep but he could be a difference-maker in the middle of the order for a new team. An All-Star in 2017 after hitting .330/.380/.506 with 18 home runs and 27 doubles in just 136 games, the outfielder brings plenty of potential at just 27 years old. The hope will be that an injury-plagued 2018 was the reason behind Garcia's struggles.
Speedster Billy Hamilton is another who likely won't have trouble finding a new home. While he's failed to develop at the plate during his career, slashing .242/.299/.331 over the last two seasons, he's an elite defensive center fielder and is arguably the fastest player in the game. Teams wanting to add speed and defense to their outfield shouldn't hesitate to target Hamilton.
The non-tender deadline was further proof that nothing is guaranteed in baseball, as several former top picks and can't-miss prospects were let go.
Tim Beckham was the first overall selection in 2008, chosen ahead of Buster Posey, Gerrit Cole, and Eric Hosmer. Beckham failed to develop with the Rays, and despite some flashes with the Orioles, he's never turned into the player either team had hoped and is now a free agent at 28.
The deadline also proved to be the end for Shelby Miller in Arizona, closing the book on what will go down as one of the worst trades in Diamondbacks history. Miller, the No. 5 prospect in 2011, threw just 139 innings over three seasons with the D-Backs, posting a 6.35 ERA and undergoing Tommy John surgery in May 2017. Arizona parted with Ender Inciarte and Dansby Swanson as part of the package to land Miller from the Braves in 2015, and also paid Miller $4.9 million last season to pitch just 16 innings.
While non-tender decisions resulted in job losses for some, it's also created new opportunities for others. With Jonathan Schoop no longer the second baseman in Milwaukee, John Hicks out as one of the Detroit Tigers' catchers, and Mike Fiers departing the Oakland Athletics' pitching ranks, there are openings that need to be filled. Some of these vacancies will be addressed internally, but closing one door will open another.
Not tendering players a contract also allows clubs to free up some future payroll that can potentially be spent elsewhere. After non-tendering Davidson and Garcia, for instance, the White Sox saved $10.4 million in projected salary that could now be used to pursue free agents.
A number of veteran free agents were squeezed out of baseball last winter as teams opted to go younger and cheaper, and with the depth of free agency having grown with the names added Friday, expect even more established players to be jobless come February.
The second-base market was already deep with veterans Josh Harrison, Ian Kinsler, Logan Forsythe, Brian Dozier, Asdrubal Cabrera, Jed Lowrie, DJ LeMahieu, Daniel Murphy, and Neil Walker. Now, with Jonathan Schoop, Yangervis Solarte, and Wilmer Flores hitting free agency after being non-tendered, there's plenty of talent in a position that might not have much demand. It's certainly a buyers market for infielders this winter, and it won't be a surprise if some fail to land a guaranteed contract. These players may need to demonstrate a versatility to play around the diamond in order to find a job.
Teams searching for bargain veteran pitching should have no trouble, and those that are patient and willing to take on an arm with an injury history could really benefit this winter.
Miller, Kendall Graveman, and Matt Shoemaker are three starters who have shown the ability to be an effective starter at the major-league level, but it shouldn't take a massive financial commitment for teams willing to give them an opportunity.
Graveman, 27, has two Opening Day starts under his belt but is currently rehabbing from Tommy John surgery. A team inclined to offer a two-year, low money, incentive-laden pact similar to what the Rays did with Nathan Eovaldi could prove beneficial.
Miller, 28, was an All-Star as recently as 2015 and could be someone who benefits from a fresh start. Like Graveman, Miller has dealt with elbow issues and will need to be brought along slowly, but a patient team could roll the dice hoping he can return to the pitcher he was with the Braves.
Shoemaker, 32, has been limited to 21 starts over the last two seasons due to forearm issues but did manage to finish the season healthy. Inconsistency was his biggest issue down the stretch, though rust could be to blame. The veteran right-hander has the stuff to make him a bottom-of-the-rotation arm.