MLB teams face midnight deadline to offer deals

Dec. 02, 2013 @ 10:36 PM

As the big-money free agents negotiated, dozens of players with lower profiles waited to find out whether they would be dumped on the market by their clubs Monday night.

Teams had until midnight to offer 2014 contracts to unsigned players on their 40-man rosters. Once a player receives a contract offer, his team no longer can release him before the start of the season without giving him termination pay. That means a club would be responsible for about one-sixth of the salary, which could be a large amount if the player is eligible for arbitration.

Clubs often use the so-called tender deadline as leverage to force agreements with players they won't go to arbitration with.

In the first announcement of the day, Kansas City declined to offer a contract to infielder Chris Getz, who made $1.05 million this year while hitting .220.

Detroit struck a one-year deal with infielder Don Kelly. In agreements announced Friday, the Los Angeles Dodgers reached deals with outfielder Mike Baxter and catcher Drew Butera ($700,000 each) and left-hander Scott Elbert ($575,000).

With an excess of catching after reaching an agreement to sign Brian McCann, the New York Yankees traded Chris Stewart to Pittsburgh for a player to be named. The Yankees also finalized a $5 million, two-year contract with Brendan Ryan, who became their starter in September when Derek Jeter went back on the disabled list.

Among players already on the free-agent market, left-hander Scott Kazmir was closing in on a $22 million, two-year contract with the Oakland Athletics.

The new contract is pending a physical, a person said, speaking of anonymity because the team hadn't finalized the deal.

Catcher Dioner Navarro agreed to an $8 million, two-year contract with Toronto, a person familiar with those negotiations said, also speaking on condition of anonymity because the agreement had not been announced.

Navarro will get $3 million next year and $5 million in 2016.