Pittsburgh Pirates: Non-Tendered NL Central First Baseman Could Become a Target

Sep 14, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Rowdy Tellez (11) watches
Sep 14, 2023; Milwaukee, Wisconsin, USA; Milwaukee Brewers first baseman Rowdy Tellez (11) watches / Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

After being non-tendered by the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday, first baseman Rowdy Tellez could become an offseason target for the Pittsburgh Pirates

Friday evening was the deadline for MLB clubs to tender contracts to the arbitration eligible or pre-arbitration players on their 40-man roster for the 2024 season. While the Pittsburgh Pirates tendered a contract to each of their arbitration eligible/pre-arbitration players except two.

The players who were non-tendered can now be picked up by any other team in baseball. For the Pirates, they could look to these players to help bolster their 2024 roster. This could include pursuing a first baseman from within the NL Central divison.

There were multiple noteworthy players who were non-tendered by the Milwaukee Brewers on Friday. This included slugging first baseman Rowdy Tellez. With the Pirates in the market for first base help this offseason, Tellez is a player they could pursue.

Last season, Tellez took a step back from how he had been performing in recent seasons. Tellez hit for a .215/.291/.376 slash line with a 78 wRC+ and an 82 OPS+ in 351 plate appearances last season. This was the worst season of Tellez's career. However, it should be noted that his .249 batting average on balls in play was the second lowest of his career. So, it's safe to assume a low BAbip contributed to his struggles last season.

In 6 career MLB seasons between the Toronto Blue Jays and Milwaukee Brewers, Tellez owns a .233/.304/.446 slash line with a 99 wRC+ in 1884 PAs. He's walked at an 8.6% rate, struck out at a 22.4% clip, and owns an isolated slugging (ISO) of .214.

Tellez's swing is also one that could be built for PNC Park. The left-handed slugger is a heavy pull hitter, and the Clemente Wall is built for pull hitting left-handed hitters. In fact, Tellez is a lifetime .277/.351/.554 hitter with 5 home runs and 3 doubles in 74 career PAs at PNC Park.

He also has ties to Pirate general manager Ben Cherington. When Tellez made his MLB debut with the Blue Jays in 2018, Cherington was Vice President of Baseball Operations for the Blue Jays. So, Tellez is a player that Cherington is very familiar with.

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