Athletics

Athletics

Friday marks the deadline for MLB teams to tender contracts to arbitration-eligible players for next season. Those who are not offered a contract are considered non-tendered and immediately become free agents.

With that in mind, we will be examining potential non-tender candidates on the A's. We started with Josh Phegley Monday and followed with Ryan Dull Tuesday. Next up is 27-year-old starting pitcher Kendall Graveman.

The right-hander is projected to get $2.5 million in arbitration, according to MLB Trade Rumors. Complicating things is the fact that Graveman is recovering from Tommy John surgery and will likely miss the entire 2019 season.

[RELATED: A's lose Graveman to TJ surgery]

Even before his injury, Graveman experienced a nightmare 2018 campaign. The A's Opening Day starter finished 1-5 with a 7.60 ERA in seven starts, ultimately getting demoted to Triple-A Nashville.

Graveman pitched much better the previous three years, maintaining an ERA just over four. If the A's believe he can get back on track after his recovery, they might decide to tender him a contract.

The problem for Graveman is that, while Oakland needs starting pitchers for next season, they should have plenty of reinforcements by 2020. Top prospects Jesús Luzardo and A.J. Puk figure to be in the rotation by then, along with Sean Manaea, Jharel Cotton and Daniel Mengden.

The two sides could possibly reach an agreement for less than the projected $2.5 million. The A's could also elect to non-tender Graveman and then try to sign him to a new contract as a free agent. We should have a better idea by Friday.