No Sale on Whitesell with Non-Tender

Now that the Winter Meetings are completed teams will turn their attention to their rosters to determine which players will be offered contracts for next season and which will be non-tendered. Essentially non-tendering a player makes them a free agent.

Players are free to contact all 30 teams in Major League Baseball to try to find a job. It can be a nerve-wracking process to go through especially this time of year. When you think of baseball players, everyone immediately envisions multi-millionaires living life to its fullest.

What we tend to forget is that many who are affected by the non-tender deadline are fringe players that have been toiling in the minor leagues or perhaps have seen their careers marred by lackluster performance or injury.

They are holding onto the dream of being a Major League Baseball player but know that they are one transaction away from being unemployed with perhaps no chance of realizing their dream of making as a professional baseball player.

What makes matters even worse is that this decision comes during the midst of the holiday season. One moment you are out shopping with your wife or kids thinking of getting the perfect gift and the next day you find that you are unemployed with the uncertainty that you may not find a job.

As the deadline loomed, the Arizona Diamondbacks decided to cut ties with first baseman Josh Whitesell rendering him a free agent. During his minor league tenure Whitesell excelled for the Diamondbacks being named the Diamondbacks’ 2008 Minor League Player of the Year.

That success however did not follow him to the major leagues where Whitesell struggled during his stint with the parent club. He hit just .200 with two home runs and 15 RBIs over two seasons.

So just like that, Whitesell finds himself unemployed as Hanukkah begins. With his limited time and relatively meager success he finds himself in unfamiliar territory. Chances are he will need to sign a minor league contract with a club to get his foot in the door.

He will continue to work hard to impress his new club to give him a shot. At the age of 27, teams may no longer look at Whitesell as a prospect making the challenge of becoming a Major League Baseball player even harder.

That is the business of baseball. A part of the game that sometimes goes unnoticed by the fans.


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