Seattle Mariners News: Five Non-Tendered Players Who Could Help The M’s

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Kris Medlen and Brandon Beachy

The profile for a non-tendered player usually includes some mixture of the following traits: aging, expensive, ineffective, injured, redundant. Perhaps the last adjective you’d ever expect to hear attached to a player entering the market following his team’s decision not to pay him is “ace.” Yet the Atlanta Braves have gifted the market with two pitchers who have obvious top-of-the-rotation upside.

Both hurlers are available, of course, due to having missed the 2014 season with Tommy John surgery. It was the second such operation for each guy, and Beachy was coming off a lost 2013 and half a 2012. All that Medlen did in 2013 was throw 197 innings with a 3.11 ERA and a 3.48 FIP. That’s a pretty fantastic season, and it was coming on the heels of an even stronger 2012 split between the ‘pen and rotation.

Beachy’s 28 and Medlen’s 29, so it’s not like these guys are free agent versions of Danny Hultzen or something. But 28 and 29 aren’t particularly old, even for rehabbing pitchers. The Braves were bad last year and have budget issues, which is essentially why either of these guys are available. Medlen, in particular, could require multiple years to sign. Beachy would be much cheaper, but comes with a much lower likelihood of reaching his ceiling.

The Mariners third-most established MLB starter right now is Roenis Elias. The rotation could badly use depth, especially depth with upside. Throw Medlen in the mix and suddenly the Mariners have the potential for top-flight talent in all five rotation spots. That’s virtually unheard of, and it’s not entirely crazy to think that a healthy Medlen would make Seattle the best team in the AL.

The non-tender market is rarely this interesting, with plenty of exciting talent suddenly available for cheap. The M’s would be wise to use this as an opportunity to fill out their roster and get a jump on the competition heading into the winter meetings. All eyes on you, Jack Zduriencik.