Midnight tonight marks the MLB deadline for non-tendering a player. In human language, that means deciding not to offer a contract to a player under team control.
Despite the pleas from some Tigers fans, this deadline means very little as it relates to current Tigers. GM Dave Dombrowski told told MLB Network Radio in November that he will bring Delmon Young back in 2012. (Unless he finds a trading partner, etc.)
We're not going to non-tender Delmon Young. I mean, that's just not going to happen."
But that doesn't mean the non-tender deadline can't still be fun for the Tigers. There might be other players worth keeping an eye on, too.
MLB Trade Rumors has a list of non-tender candidates. Many of these will probably be offered a contract, but the rest will become free agents. Don't expect to be wowed, but there are some possibilities anyway.
In the infield, you've got possible names like 2B Skip Schumaker or SS Ryan Theriot. I'm not sure either would be a big upgrade. I don't think there's going to be a lot of gem hunting there.
Among pitchers, it's more interesting. Left-hander Tom Gorzelanny might make a decent fifth starter. He has kept an ERA around 4 the past two years while keeping up a pretty decent strikeout rate. The Nationals are still making up their mind, wrote the Washington Post today.
Marlins SP Chris Volstad may not have a future in Miami. However, a Sun-Sentinel writer today wrote that he'd be shocked if Volstad wasn't offered a contract. He might be seen as a trade chip for a team willing to bet on a change of scenery for the Marlins' former No. 1 prospect. Fish Stripes calls him a decent fifth-starter if you ignore all the prior prospect hype.
So in the end, we're probably not talking about the most exciting crop of players becoming free agents. Are any on your shopping list?