Blue Jays non-tender Adam Cimber ahead of deadline; Rowdy Tellez and Kevin Smith among others to hit open market

Major League Baseball’s non-tender deadline came and went and a handful of players are now free agents. Teams had until 8 p.m. ET on Friday to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players. Those who were tendered remain under team control and those who didn’t can now test the open market.

The Toronto Blue Jays had 13 players eligible for arbitration this winter and the team opted to keep 12 of them while cutting loose right-handed pitcher Adam Cimber.

The 2023 season was a difficult one for Cimber, as he posted a 7.40 ERA over 22 appearances before landing on the Injured List with a shoulder impingement in June. The side-arm-throwing righty was eventually moved to the 60-day IL and didn’t return to the active roster for the remainder of the season.

The Blue Jays have Jordan Romano, Tim Mayza, Erik Swanson, Yimi Garcia, Chad Green, Genesis Cabrera, and Trevor Richards in line to return to the team’s bullpen in 2024, so it isn’t overly surprising they moved on from Cimber, as the 33-year-old was projected to earn $3.2 million in arbitration.

 

Cimber shouldn’t have difficulty finding a team in free agency given his track record of being an effective middle reliever. Between his MLB debut in 2018 and the strongest reason of his career in 2022, Cimber posted a 3.20 ERA in 278 2/3 innings over 301 appearances. His 77 appearances out of Toronto’s bullpen in 2022 were tied with Cleveland closer Emmanuel Clase for the most in baseball.

Other notable players who were non-tendered…

  • There are a few former Blue Jays who were non-tendered by their clubs on Friday. The most notable is Rowdy Tellez, who was let go by the Milwaukee Brewers after slashing a .215/.291/.376 line over 351 trips to the plate in 2023. The big lefty smashed 35 home runs and posted a .767 OPS in 2022, his first full season with the Brewers after being traded by the Blue Jays in the summer of 2021.
  • Kevin Smith was let go by the Athletics, meaning only one of the four players Toronto traded to Oakland for Matt Chapman just ahead of the 2021 season is still around. The Mets also cut loose slugger Daniel Vogelbach, who played a handful of games with the Blue Jays during the shortened 2020 season.
  • Beyond the former Blue Jays, there are plenty of interesting names now on the open market after being non-tendered. Two-time All-Star starting pitcher Brandon Woodruff is a free agent with top-of-the-rotation upside, though he’s expected to miss most of 2024 after undergoing shoulder surgery in October. Nick Senzel, who was the second overall pick in the 2016 draft, and Kyle Lewis, who won NL Rookie of the Year in 2020, are two outfielders with considerable upside who are now available.

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Title: Blue Jays non-tender Adam Cimber ahead of deadline; Rowdy Tellez and Kevin Smith among others to hit open market
Author: Cam Lewis

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