Non-tender candidates have the potential to shake up the free agent market, sometimes in big ways. We saw that firsthand last winter when the Chicago Cubs pounced after the Dodgers non-tendered former NL Rookie of the Year and MVP Cody Bellinger, inking him to a one-year deal for 2023.
Bellinger wound up being the Cubs' most valuable player this season and has set himself up for a high-dollar, long-term deal as he hits the open market again this winter. There are still some impactful names on the potential non-tender list this time around - some of whom could be targets for Jed Hoyer. As far as Chicago is concerned, though, there are just 3 guys listed by MLB Trade Rumors who could wind up on the chopping block.
3 Cubs non-tender candidates: #3 - Patrick Wisdom
Patrick Wisdom rose to fame in the wake of the mid-2021 trade deadline sell-off, becoming the everyday third baseman after Hoyer sent Kris Bryant to the Giants. He proceeded to set the franchise rookie record for home runs in a season, despite playing in just 106 games, finishing fourth in NL Rookie of the Year voting.
That power has never really waned. But with that power has come a wholly unsustainable strikeout rate that really proved problematic here in 2024 and led to him having a reduced role down the stretch. With both corner infield spots a major area of need for the team, it's worth wondering if Wisdom's time with the team has run its course.
MLBTR pegs Wisdom for a $2.6 million salary in 2024; I think the team explores a trade for the power-hitting corner infielder before they non-tender him, but there's no way he should be in the starting lineup regularly heading into 2024.