Qualifying Headaches

The Hot Stove season is in full effect with free agency began Tuesday and with that also comes the qualifying offers. Now a lot of casual fans aren’t too familiar with Q.O.’s and still more fans (the lesser ones) don’t pay attention to the offseason at all and simply wait for the next season to begin so they can get their allotment of season tickets from the corporate big wigs they work for. Sorry, I started to stray there for a second.
The qualifying offer is made to a team’s free agents and the amount is based on the top 125 contracts in baseball. This year that amount is roughly $14.1 million for one season. A player can turn it down and test the free agent market and, if he signs elsewhere, the team that loses him will receive a compensatory draft pick which is sandwiched between the first and second rounds of the June amateur draft.

Many Rangers fans were upset when Texas didn’t make the offer (1 year, $13 million) to Mike Napoli after the 2012 season. He ended up leaving for a title in Boston and Texas was out an extra draft pick. Had Texas made him the Q.O. chances are pretty good that he would have signed. And while he was a fan favorite he really only had one good half-season the two years he was here and being a fan favorite doesn’t mean big money. If that were the case Michael Young would still be here with a contract the size of A-Rod’s.

Sometimes, as a fan, you need to take a step back from the fandom and look at the financial responsibility.

Take a look at these names. These are players that so far have not been given a qualifying offer and you can see why based on the money and the team involved:

A.J. Burnett (PIT)

Bronson Arroyo (CIN)

Jarrod Saltalamacchia (BOS)

Bartolo Colon (OAK)

Grant Balfour (OAK)

Josh Johnson (TOR)

Now this doesn’t mean that they won’t re-sign with their teams. It’s just $14.1 million for one season could hamper the teams involved from making other moves so they could offer a multi-year deal at a lower cost per year.

Player receiving qualifying offers include:

Carlos Beltran (STL)

Robinson Cano (NYY)

Shin-Soo Choo (CIN)

Nelson Cruz (TEX)

Stephen Drew (BOS)

Jacoby Ellsbury (BOS)

Curtis Granderson (NYY)

Ubaldo Jiminez (CLE)

Hiroki Kuroda (NYY)

Brian McCann (ATL)

Kendrys Morales (SEA)

Mike Napoli (BOS)

Ervin Santana (KC)

The offers have simply been extended at this point and do not guarantee that they will re-sign and I fully expect that Robinson Cano will turn down the offer from the Yankees as he seeks a large multi-year deal.

Whatever happens I expect another fun and exciting offseason as it is proved once again that baseball season never actually ends. 

James Holland is a Senior Columnist for Shutdown Inning. He can be reached at James.Holland@shutdowninning.comor @SDIJamesHolland on Twitter.
James Holland

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