Milwaukee Brewers Non-Tender Candidates: Tyler Saladino
By David Gasper
The Milwaukee Brewers brought in Tyler Saladino during the middle of the 2018 season. Now he’s up for arbitration and could be non-tendered.
The salary increase is minimal. Tyler Saladino is projected to earn a $1.0 million salary from the Milwaukee Brewers should he go to an arbitration hearing this winter. But that’s if he makes it that far.
With several players hitting arbitration this winter, the Brewers payroll is going to increase even without any outside additions. With the budgetary restrictions the Crew has to work within, that means there will have to be some cost-saving moves made.
Tyler Saladino in 2018
In 52 games with the Brewers, Saladino posted a .246/.302/.398 slash line with a .701 OPS and five home runs. His 86 OPS+ was the second highest of his career.
Saladino had a pretty good stretch of about a week or two during the month of May. Outside of that, he was about as mediocre as it comes at the plate. But it was that stretch that gave Craig Counsell the confidence to send down Orlando Arcia the first time.
Why Non-Tender Tyler Saladino?
Where is Tyler Saladino going to find playing time in 2019? He was a short-term replacement for Orlando Arcia during his struggles, but now that Arcia has gotten back on track and figures to keep that momentum into next season, there’s no need for Saladino. With Hernan Perez as the utility option, Jonathan Schoop still around for now, and Mauricio Dubon ready to go for spring training, it’s difficult to see Saladino getting ABs.
Saladino was the starting shortstop for a couple days earlier in 2018 before he rolled his ankle and missed a couple weeks. After that, he was relegated to bench duty and eventually was demoted to Triple-A before being called back up in September. He didn’t get many at-bats off the bench in September either.
If Saladino is in the Milwaukee Brewers organization at all next season, he’s going to be in Triple-A. There’s no reason to tender him a major league contract.
Clearing Roster Space
The Brewers have a lot of minor league prospects that need to be protected ahead of the Rule 5 Draft this winter. The more roster spaces they have, the more prospects they can protect.
Prospects like Jake Gatewood, Troy Stokes, and Cody Ponce need protection on the 40 man roster and the Brewers also have the potential to add outside free agents this offseason, meaning they need as much room as possible.
It was a nice run for Saladino in Milwaukee, but he’s likely to get non-tendered this winter.
The non-tender deadline is at the end of November, meaning the Milwaukee Brewers have a month to decide what to d about Saladino, but he appears to be on his way out.