The deadline for MLB teams to tender contracts for the 2020 season to their arbitration-eligible players was today, Monday, at 8 PM ET. I’m writing this today, Monday, at 8:15 PM ET, and that means we now know which players the Cincinnati Reds chose to tender and those which they opted to non-tender, and the results are not too surprising.
Both Kevin Gausman and Jose Peraza were not tendered contracts, the team just announced. The rest of the arb-eligible group - highlighted by the likes of Anthony DeSclafani and Trevor Bauer - got contracts.
The #Reds did not tender contracts for the 2020 season to RHP Kevin Gausman or IF/OF José Peraza. The 40-man roster is now at 38 players.— Cincinnati Reds (@Reds) December 3, 2019
These two non-tenders were hardly surprising despite the fact that both Gausman and Peraza certainly have their bright spots. Gausman was entering his final year of arb eligibility and was projected to earn a salary in excess of $10 million for 2020, and given that he’s down the pecking order as a starter, had a brutal 2019 campaign on the whole, and was likely slated to be a relief option, that was simply too much for the Reds to consider paying. As for Peraza, he still had 3 years of team control and was only 25 years old, but his awful plate discipline and poor 2019 season saw him fall down the list of infield options, and at $3.6 million projected for 2020, that was too much of a gamble.
Of course, the signing of Mike Moustakas to be the club’s primary 2B and the option pickup on Freddy Galvis certainly must have factored into the decision on Peraza.
It’ll be interesting to see where the Reds go from here, obviously. There is still certainly a chance that the club could circle back and try to sign one, or both, to different deals now that they’re both free agents, but it’s more likely than not that they’ll explore their options on the open market more thoroughly before something like that would occur.