Chicago Cubs: Looking at the team’s non-tender candidates

(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images) /
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Chicago Cubs / Albert Almora
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The Cubs will likely non-tender several players before the December 2 deadline.

As the organization looks to shed tens of millions of dollars in payroll and usher in a new era under Jed Hoyer, something like the non-tender deadline becomes far more relevant. The Chicago Cubs have until  next Wednesday, December 2, to decide whether or not to bring back some familiar faces.

The top non-tender candidate is outfielder and former first-round pick Albert Almora. Chicago largely relegated the 26-year-old to bench duty in 2020 given his immense offensive struggles in recent years.

Since the start of the 2019 season (and really, midway through the 2018 campaign) Almora has looked lost at the dish. A 64 OPS+ tells you all you need to know about what he’s done at the dish in the last two years. As a guy who never drew many walks, his lack of hitting spelled doom.

Almora is due a projected $1.575 million via arbitration this offseason. Given the team’s clear desire to shed payroll, there’s little to no chance they tender him a contract. Consider it money saved and the center field job firmly in the hands of Ian Happ heading into 2021.