It's Marvin Miller's worst nightmare. What would happen if all of the players were free agents every year. They would flood the market and drive down salaries. It's simple supply-and-demand economics, right?
Well, we are not close to that, but this year an inordinate number of useful, arbitration-eligible players are not being tendored contracts. It seems that for whatever reason the whole of MLB has reached the proverbial tipping point and now teams would be hard pressed to retain these players given the talent available on the open market. It's the oddest offseason since the full bloom of collusion (that also could explain a lot about this offseason if it were a factor). Perhaps the oddest angle is that a number of these players are still of interest to their 2002 teams, just not at the current rate plus arbitration.
Sean McAdam has a very interesting article on the phenomenon on ESPN.
Here is a list of the non-tendors that I have noticed over the past day or so: