In the wake of last night's trade with the Braves, the Chicago White Sox's roster decisions today all of a sudden carry a lot more weight than then originally did. Friday (today) is the nontender deadline and with a 40 man roster that all of sudden is pretty crowded, the roster moves that the White Sox make today could help determine how easy it is to make additions in free agency this offseason.
There is still a chance that some of the players that Chicago acquired in the move that sent Aaron Bummer to Atlanta end up being among today's nontenders, but the focus for now will be on the White Sox's existing roster and who could end up getting cut today.
What does non-tendering a player mean?
Non-tendering is a term that applies strictly to players that are eligible for arbitration. If a player is tendered, then the arbitration process goes on as normal and the team and player can try to work on a deal for the 2024 season or head to an arbitration hearing to determine said player's salary next season.
If a player is non-tendered, however, then that player immediately becomes a free agent. Arbitration players do not have guaranteed deals while they are under this particular form of team control and if the team decides that they are not worth what they are projected to get in arbitration for whatever reason (payroll concerns, production, injury, etc.), that player can be cut loose without any future financial obligations.
White Sox non-tender candidates
The White Sox had more non-tender candidates on this list, but Chicago outrighted two candidates in Clint Frazier and Trayce Thompson off their roster at the beginning of November. It is still possible that they could return on minor league deals, but neither player will likely be missed in the grand scheme of things.
They do still have two candidates (other than some of the guys they got back from Atlanta last night) in Touki Toussaint and Matt Foster. Touki has a ton of arm talent that was evident back to his days with the Braves, but he struggles to find the strike zone and he posted a 4.97 ERA in 19 appearances last season. He is projected to get $1.7 million in his first year of arbitration which isn't a lot of money, but there is a good argument to use that money elsewhere.
Foster is in a similar boat as Touki. He did post a 4.40 ERA and 4.11 FIP in 48 relief appearances in 2023 and showed some ability to miss bats, but he tends to get hit hard and none of his stuff stands out as particularly exciting. However, his salary estimate for 2024 is only $740,000 and given that the White Sox are going to be going through a transition next year, keeping him around wouldn't be the worst idea in the world at that price point.