By MIKE FITZPATRICK
AP Baseball Writer
NEW YORK (AP) — Cody Bellinger, Brian Anderson and Luke Voit were among 83 players who became free agents Friday night when their former teams declined to offer them contracts for next season.
Alex Reyes, Ryan Yarbrough and Jeimer Candelario also were cut loose ahead of baseball’s tender deadline, with clubs choosing to dump dozens of players who otherwise would have been eligible for salary arbitration.
Aristides Aquino, Garrett Hampson, Adam Engel, Dominic Smith, Jorge Alfaro, Raimel Tapia and Erick Fedde hit the open market as well.
Bellinger was by far the biggest name of the bunch.
The 2019 NL MVP was jettisoned by the Los Angeles Dodgers after batting .210 with 19 homers this season. The 27-year-old outfielder had 150 strikeouts and a .654 OPS in 144 games while earning $17 million.
Bellinger likely would have received a slight raise in his latest round of arbitration.
“I wouldn’t necessarily say that this is a closing of the chapter of Cody and the Dodgers,” president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman said.
“We still very much believe in the talent of Cody and his competitive makeup. We have interest in a reunion. We’ll continue talks with Cody and his group as he goes through the process on his end.”
Anderson, a third baseman and right fielder for Miami since 2017, batted .222 with eight homers, 28 RBIs and a .657 OPS in 98 games this year while making $4,475,000. He had three solid seasons in a row from 2018-20.
Voit was the major league home run champion with 22 for the New York Yankees during the pandemic-shortened 2020 season. This year, he batted .226 with 22 homers, 69 RBIs and a .710 OPS in 135 games combined for San Diego and Washington while earning $5.45 million. He was let go by the Nationals.
Several players agreed to one-year deals before the deadline, including San Francisco outfielder Mike Yastrzemski ($6.1 million) and Detroit outfielder Austin Meadows ($4.3 million), who can earn a $25,000 bonus for 600 plate appearances.
Others were Yankees reliever Lou Trivino ($4.1 million), Miami reliever Dylan Floro ($3.9 million), Milwaukee pitcher Adrian Houser ($3.6 million), Atlanta pitcher Mike Soroka ($2.8 million), Chicago Cubs pitcher Adrian Sampson ($1.9 million), Detroit left-hander Tyler Alexander ($1,875,000), Brewers reliever Matt Bush ($1.85 million), Cubs reliever Rowan Wick ($1.55 million), Pittsburgh third baseman Miguel Andújar ($1,525,000), Arizona reliever Cole Sulser ($825,000), Philadelphia reliever Sam Coonrod ($775,000) and San Diego lefty Jose Castillo ($730,000).
Colorado claimed Brent Suter off waivers from Milwaukee and signed the Harvard left-hander to a $3 million, one-year contract. Suter can earn $200,000 in performance bonuses for innings: $100,000 each for 40 and 60.
Many more players were non-tendered Friday than in years past because of a change to the offseason calendar.
In the new collective bargaining agreement between players and owners that took effect this year, the tender deadline was moved up to the same week as the date to include players on 40-man rosters in order to protect them from the Rule 5 draft.
As a result, 39 players recently designated for assignment by teams to create roster space wound up being non-tendered as well just days later.
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