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Nine potential candidates to be non-tendered

Free agency looms if deals aren't offered by Friday
MLB.com @feinsand

The offseason calendar reaches another mile marker tonight, when teams must decide by 8 ET whether to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players.

Every year, this deadline typically results in a few notable names being added to the free-agent market, crowding that field even further. For context, the typical player is arbitration-eligible three times, though some can be eligible a fourth time if they were a Super Two. Most players who get non-tendered are in their third year of arbitration as a result of two factors: It is typically their most expensive arbitration year and they are one year from free agency anyway.

The offseason calendar reaches another mile marker tonight, when teams must decide by 8 ET whether to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players.

Every year, this deadline typically results in a few notable names being added to the free-agent market, crowding that field even further. For context, the typical player is arbitration-eligible three times, though some can be eligible a fourth time if they were a Super Two. Most players who get non-tendered are in their third year of arbitration as a result of two factors: It is typically their most expensive arbitration year and they are one year from free agency anyway.

For a complete explanation of the new qualifying offer rules, click here.

Which arbitration-eligible players might find themselves looking for a new club by the weekend? Here's a look at some non-tender candidates (listed alphabetically by last name):

Matt Adams
Braves, 1B
2017 salary: $2.8 million
Year of arbitration: 3rd

Adams was outstanding in 100 games for the Braves last season, filling in admirably for the injured Freddie Freeman. His 20 home runs and .841 OPS in 131 games for St. Louis and Atlanta represented career highs, but with Freeman firmly entrenched at first base and Adams' positional limitation, the Braves are exploring trade options. If they're unable to make a deal by Friday, they could non-tender him rather than risk owing him more than $3 million through the arbitration process.

Mike Fiers
Astros, RHP
2017 salary: $3.45 million
Year of arbitration: 2nd

Fiers has seen his numbers decline in each of the past two seasons with the Astros, so much so that he was left off the postseason roster in all three rounds. With a salary that could rise, he might end up as odd man out for a team that already has a lot of starting pitchers: Justin Verlander, Dallas Keuchel, Lance McCullers Jr., Charlie Morton, Brad Peacock and Collin McHugh.

Evan Gattis
Astros, C/DH
2017 salary: $5.2 million
Year of arbitration: 3rd

In theory, the Astros will use Gattis as their primary designated hitter in 2018, a role he filled during Houston's postseason run. He's also the team's backup catcher, but the Astros have Max Stassi, who, at 26, is five years younger than Gattis and ready to assume that role. The Astros could decide to let Gattis -- who will likely get a raise in his final year of arbitration eligibility -- walk and rotate players through the DH spot. Houston could also opt to tender Gattis a contract and shop him before Spring Training. Or keep him because he is a proven power threat and popular part of their championship chemistry.

Yasmani Grandal
Dodgers, C
2017 salary: $5.5 million
Year of arbitration: 3rd

Grandal posted solid numbers (22 home runs, 58 RBIs, .767 OPS) in 129 games last season, but he was supplanted by Austin Barnes by the end of the year. Grandal started only two games during the Dodgers' run to the World Series, logging a total of eight at-bats in the club's 15 postseason games. In his final year of arbitration, Grandal's salary is likely to be high for someone who could be a backup catcher. This one is a bit of a longshot. It's possible the Dodgers tender him and then explore trade options.

Adeiny Hechavarria
Rays, SS
2017 salary: $4.35 million
Year of arbitration: 3rd

The Rays paid about $2.3 million for a half-season of Hechavarria after acquiring him from Miami in June, but with Willy Adames -- Tampa Bay's No. 2 prospect and No. 15 overall on MLB Pipeline's Top 100 -- getting close to the Majors, Tampa Bay could decide to take the savings and give the kid a chance.

Brock Holt
Red Sox, INF/OF
2017 salary: $1.95 million
Year of arbitration: 2nd

Holt was an All-Star in 2015, but his at-bats have fallen sharply during the past two seasons, and health issues limited him to only 64 games and a .548 OPS in 2017. When healthy, his versatility makes him a valuable bench player, but health is no certainty given his concussion and vertigo history.

Tom Koehler
Blue Jays, RHP
2017 salary: $5.75 million
Year of arbitration: 2nd

Koehler threw only 17 innings for the Blue Jays after being acquired on Aug. 19, making one start among his 15 appearances. With Marcus Stroman, Aaron Sanchez, Marco Estrada and J.A. Happ filling the top four slots in the rotation, Koehler's salary could be more than the Blue Jays want to pay a potential fifth starter/long reliever.

Hector Rondon
Cubs, RHP
2017 salary: $5.8 million
Year of arbitration: 3rd

Rondon was the Cubs' closer for two-plus seasons before Chicago acquired Aroldis Chapman in July 2016 and dealt for Wade Davis last winter. Rondon's 4.24 ERA in 61 appearances was his highest since his rookie season, and although Chicago is in the market for a new closer, Rondon doesn't appear to be a candidate. Given that his salary will likely rise in his final year before free agency, he could be cut loose by the Cubs.

Drew Smyly
Mariners, LHP
2017 salary: $6.85 million
Year of arbitration: 3rd

Smyly has been a key part of two trades since 2014. He was part of the package the Tigers sent to the Rays (along with Adames) for David Price in the summer of 2014, and last January he was sent from the Rays to the Mariners for three prospects. But Smyly injured his elbow during Spring Training and underwent Tommy John surgery in early July, leaving him with a target of mid-to-late summer for his 2018 return. His salary makes it unlikely that Seattle will tender him a contract, so he'll likely look for a deal of either two years or one year with a team-friendly option as he rehabs his elbow next season.

Mark Feinsand, an executive reporter, originally joined MLB.com as a reporter in 2001.

Matt Adams, Mike Fiers, Evan Gattis, Yasmani Grandal, Adeiny Hechavarria, Brock Holt, Tom Koehler, Hector Rondon, Drew Smyly, Stephen Vogt