Which big names were cut loose at MLB’s non-tender deadline?

  • Senior writer of SweetSpot baseball blog
  • Former deputy editor of Page 2
  • Been with ESPN.com since 1995

Chicago Cubs fans will always remember Kyle Schwarber and Albert Almora for Game 7 of the 2016 World Series.

Schwarber had missed almost the entire regular season after tearing up his knee that April, not returning to the Cubs’ roster until the first game of the World Series. Despite the lack of game action, he got cleared physically a week before and told then-baseball boss Theo Epstein, “You’ve got to give me the chance to do this.”

Schwarber was in the lineup as the DH for Game 7 and led off the 10th inning with a base hit to right field, his third hit of the game. Almora then ran for Schwarber; and when Kris Bryant followed with a fly ball to the warning track in center field, Almora alertly and aggressively tagged up. That set the stage for an intentional walk to Anthony Rizzo and then Ben Zobrist’s go-ahead double that would send the Cubs to the world championship.

The former first-round picks — Almora in 2012, Schwarber in 2014 — are no longer members of the Cubs, as both were non-tendered. The two Cubs headline a list of players on 40-man rosters not offered 2021 contracts before Wednesday night’s non-tender deadline, making them free agents. While players who were non-tendered are free agents, they can still re-sign with their teams, presumably at a reduced rate.

Bryant, rumored to be on the chopping block as he’ll be due an estimated $19 million via arbitration and coming off a poor 2020 season, was offered a contract. So was New York Yankees catcher Gary Sanchez, another big name who struggled in the shortened season.

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