Free Agents Who Cost Teams Draft Picks

In some instances the decision to make a player a qualifying offer is not so much a choice as a formality. Is there any doubt that Josh Hamilton will get a qualifying offer from the Rangers after the season? Not really, and it’s just as certain he’ll turn Texas’ offer down.

Most cases aren’t so predictable. Qualifying offers link players to draft pick compensation and affect their free agent value. So as teams contemplate whether to extend qualifying offers to their free agents, let’s look back at the players for whom teams were willing to surrender draft picks in recent years. Here’s the year-by-year breakdown:

2011-12 Offseason (under modified rules)

2010-11 Offseason

2009-10 Offseason

Recent history suggests teams are willing to surrender draft picks for impact bats, starting pitchers who appear to belong at the top of a rotation and select relievers, especially closers. This trend suggests teams will be willing to surrender draft picks for players such as Nick Swisher, Michael Bourn and Soriano this winter. Executives deciding whether those players warrant qualifying offers should take note.

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12 Responses to Free Agents Who Cost Teams Draft Picks Leave a Reply

  1. Lunchbox45 3 years ago

    Under the new rules aren’t the angels not eligible to receive a pick because they acquired Grienke this year?

    • cookmeister 3 years ago

      I believe that is correct. The MLB wanted to get rid of teams acquiring relievers midseason to benefit by getting draft picks after the season. With the new system and lack of type A and B free agents anymore, it isn’t really as bad as we\it was, but I am pretty sure you can’t get picks unles they were with you the whole season.

      • Mike Mark Sopp 3 years ago

        To my understanding thats correct – teams can no longer pick up a rental player and then let him go for draft picks.

    • yeah Angels get no pick for a qualifying offer for Greinke

  2. Wonder what impact the shortened window has on things. Don’t players only have a few days to accept/reject the qualifying offer? Under prior rules it was weeks before offers from teams were even due, let alone accept/reject decisions. Free agents basically have a month less to guage their market value ahead of their decision. Should be interesting.

  3. cookmeister 3 years ago

    does anyone know how qualifying offers impact players with options? For example if the Angels were to decline Haren’s option but make him a qualifying offer, would they be eligible to get draft pick compensation?

    • Kevin Swords 3 years ago

      Yes, the Angels can decline Haren’s $15.5MM team option ($3.5MM buyout) and extend a qualifying offer to him. If he declines the qualifying offer and heads to free agency, then the Angels are entitled to draft compensation from the signing team (although top 10 picks are protected). With the buyout in mind, the Angels will basically need to ask themselves if Haren is worth $12MM for one year. However, I’d doubt they would want to decline the option, pay $3.5MM for the buyout, and then have him accept a qualifying offer (believed to be in the $13MM-$14MM range) which would essentially have him under contract for 1 year at $16.5MM-$17.5MM.

    • John 3 years ago

      It would cost the Angels $3.5 million to decline Haren’s $13.5 million option. Since a qualifying offer would be around $13.5 million anyway they would not give him a $3.5 million dollar raise to $17 million because he would probably accept it.

      Anyway, I’m fairly sure a team can’t decline an option in order to make a qualifying offer. In most instances it would be giving the player a raise so they would likely take it anyway.

      • $17867741 3 years ago

        A team most certainly can decline an option and then make a qualifying offer. However, the question becomes, does it make sense?

  4. Meh Sheep 3 years ago

    Have a feeling Nick Swisher might accept the qualifying offer from the Yankees. Not sure that he gets $13-14 Million per on the open market especially if teams have to give up picks to get him, same for Soriano since he’d also get an extra $1.5 for declining his option. Jake Peavy is another one who might get his $22 Million option declined and then get a qualifying offer.

    • $17867741 3 years ago

      It depends on what Swisher is offered.

      If it came down to years vs money, I’m pretty sure Swisher will accept more years.

      If I were Nick Swisher, I would much rather take 3yrs/$30m than 1yr/$13.4m.

  5. LazerTown 3 years ago

    Napoli, Hamilton, Bourn, Peavy, Mariano, and Hiroki.
    Thats it.

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