Saito is arbitration eligible, but only if the Dodgers tender him a contract. And even though he's the highest-rated reliever in the National League over the past two years, the club might effectively release Saito, who missed two months with an elbow injury.
Through arbitration, Saito could earn around $3.5 million after receiving $2 million in 2008. The Dodgers are trying to get him signed for around $2.5 million and avoid arbitration and are using the leverage of the non-tender in an attempt to get an agreement before the deadline.
Other possible Dodgers candidates for non-tenders are Yhency Brazoban, Scott Proctor, Jason Repko and Angel Berroa.
Berroa's case is unique, in that he is coming off a multi-year deal in which Kansas City paid him $4.75 million last year. Rules prevent a team from cutting a salary by more than 20 percent, so the Dodgers would have an arbitration submittal number of at least $3.8 million, more than they'd want to pay Berroa.
Because of that, Berroa is likely to be non-tendered. Colletti speculated that Berroa won't sign and would become a free agent.
"Just because you don't tender doesn't mean you can't sign him later," he said. "He'll probably shop and see [what's available]."
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.