Projecting Non-Tender Candidates for the Pittsburgh Pirates

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Sep 15, 2015; Pittsburgh, PA, USA; (Editors note: multiple exposure) Pittsburgh Pirates relief pitcher Mark Melancon (35) pitches against the Chicago Cubs during the ninth inning at PNC Park. The Pirates won 5-4. Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

No chance to be non-tendered

  • Mark Melancon – the MLB leader in saves may in fact be traded before 2016, but to do so he needs to be under team control. He’ll get an offer.
  • Neil Walker – the more and more that gets said and reported about Walker’s contract negotiations with the team, the more both sides seem to be content with riding the contract out and letting things fall where they may.
  • Tony Watson – if one accepts the conventional wisdom that Melancon is not long for Pirate uniform, then there is no chance Watson slips through the cracks. Two consecutive dominant years solidifies his place in the team’s plans.
  • Francisco Cervelli – Cervelli’s previous injury history and lukewarm play before becoming a Pirate work in the team’s favor here, as his projected figure is still an incredible bargain for a catcher who can bat close to .300.
  • Jordy Mercer – it’s a shame that an injury can work in a club’s favor during this process, but Mercer’s long absence will help to keep his price down. For the defense he provides in the system the Pirates employ, there’s no reason to think Mercer will be going anywhere any time soon.
  • Jared Hughes – middle relievers with good groundball rates and a knack for getting out of jams more often than not will always have a place at the right price. Much like Watson, he will still come at a bargain rate. Another good year, though, and Neal Huntington may balk at a salary that may approach $4.5 million.

Next, we identify those Pirates that are locks to not be with the club next year.

Next: Say goodbye to these Pirates