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Non-Tender Wave Makes Indians OF Tyler Naquin’s 2020 a Critical Year

By Alex Hooper

Tyler Naquin might be on a shorter leash than it seems.

Entering his first arbitration season, the soon-to-be 29-year-old outfielder is estimated to receive $1.8 million according to both MLBTradeRumors and Spotrac. That figure is not alarming for a 1-to-2 win outfielder heading into his fourth year of service, which is why he was tendered a contract for 2020.

Where he goes from here may not be so straightforward. Before the December 2 deadline to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players for next year, baseball saw 40 players jettisoned to free agency, just 6 fewer than the previous two off-seasons combined. That list included considerably talented players like Philadelphia’s Cesár Hernández and gold glover Yolmer Sánchez.

As teams are more willing to cut costs and play lesser-proven players instead of paying dramatic raises for incremental gains from arbitration-eligible veterans, the benchmark for what the latter are worth rises too.

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