Midnight ET is the deadline to tender players a 2015 contract. Of the 38 players on the 40-man roster, only 10 already have contracts for 2015. Of the remaining 28, 21 are pre-arbitration and seven are eligible for arbitration.
The 21 pre-arb player are virtually guaranteed to get tendered a contract tonight, since it will ultimately be at or near the MLB minimum. They are: C. Burns, Delabar, Drabek, Goins, Hague, Hendriks, Hutchison, Hynes, Jenkins, A.J. Jimenez, Loup, D. Norris, Pillar, Pompey, Rasmussen, Redmond, A. Sanchez, Schultz, Stroman, Tepera, and Tolleson. While all will be tendered contracts tonight, at least a half dozen are not locks to make it through the winter on the 40-man roster and/or the 25-man opening day roster for those without options.
The seven arb-eligible players are more interesting. Just two - Brett Cecil and Josh Donaldson - are completely sure to be tendered contracts. Of the remaining five, just Andy Dirks has options remaining, so the other four - Marco Estrada, John Mayberry Jr, Justin Smoak, and Danny Valencia - would have to figure to the make opening day roster to make tendering contract worthwhile.
Mayberry (projected by MLBTR for $1.9-million) and Valencia ($1.7-million) are pure platoon/bench options, both acquired in trades for modest returns. As they get more expensive each time through arbitration, the cost'benefit analysis gets increasingly marginal. Neither are locks to be tendered, especially with roster turnover since they were acquired last year, but I think both are more likely than not to be tendered. I'm not sure both will be on the opening day roster, but even if not can probably be moved.
Smoak ($3.0-million) figures to be tendered, if only because it makes little sense to make a waiver claim, pay $150,000 to decline an option, get rid of two other 1B/DH options only to non-tender him. But the Jays have made more curious roster management decisions than that in the past couple years, so it's no guarantee.
Likewise, Dirks ($1.6-million) is probably a pretty good bet to be tendered with the Jays currently very thin in outfield depth, though health is the big wild card here and we know little in depth about that.
The wild card for me is Marco Estrada, with the highest projected price tag at $4.7-million. The Jays could use him in various ways - middle relief, swingman, rotation depth - but that's a lot of money for that role, especially with with poor performance the last couple years. Does he really do anything more than Todd Redmond, who will make a lot less? Or even Liam Hendriks? The other factor is that the bullpen is in flux, and there's already a bunch of players out of options who might get stashed at the back end of the bullpen: Redmond, Drabek, and Hendriks. My guess is that he gets non-tendered unless the Jays have bigger plans or he's moved somewhere else.
Chime in below with thoughts on who should/should not be tendered, or the merits of players non-tendered by other teams tonight (as of now, names like Beckham, Medlin, YOung, etc).