With the tender deadline now passed by, the team had 15 arbitration eligible players for a projected cost of $54M. The team has non-tendered 2 of them, saving roughly $2.6M from a projected Opening Day payroll of around $118.8M. The team will be looking to add to their bullpen, where the 2 non-tendered players. Given both players were not on the postseason roster, it’s not surprising to see them non-tendered two months later.
J.J. Hoover: Hoover had an up and down season with more downs than ups overall. The 3.92 ERA masks a very ugly middle of the season where Hoover was ineffective and battled shoulder trouble. In the early parts of the season, he was a valuable member of the bullpen but the wheels fell off after the White Sox series back in May. Hoover posted the best strikeout rate of his career, but also the worst walk rate of his career. Combine that with a .367 BABIP, Hoover’s WHIP spiked to 1.77. That left the Diamondbacks to exclude him from the postseason roster in both the Wild Card and the Division Series. The Diamondbacks must feel they have a cheaper alternative in Jimmie Sherfy, who got the nod in the postseason over Hoover, who costs $1M less and can at the minimum give you a similar performance if not better.
T.J. McFarland: McFarland had a similar season to Hoover, where he started off very well but as teams started to figure him out he really struggled. McFarland’s numbers were ugly in the 2nd half as hitters posted a .370 wOBA against him in the 2nd half. McFarland had very strong platoon numbers against LHH with a .233 wOBA against, so he should get some minor league offers from multiple teams. The Diamondbacks have a left-handed reliever prospect in Jared Miller who has more upside and less risk than McFarland and is significantly cheaper.
Everyone else who was arbitration eligible was tendered a contract. Chris Herrmann was tendered, which makes me think the Diamondbacks success with Ray and Corbin in the 2nd half contributed to that. Shelby Miller was also tendered, which means the Diamondbacks think he is worth the likely $11M cost over the next two seasons of arbitration eligibility as he works back from Tommy John surgery. The Diamondbacks aren’t done making moves with their arbitration eligible players as some could be moved in the Winter Meetings.