Quick Hits: Qualifying Offers, Gardenhire, Booty

The MLBPA's Michael Weiner calls MLB's qualifying offer system "mostly good" but imperfect, Mark Feinsand of the New York Daily News reports (on Sulia). Weiner expresses concern about the fact that Kyle Lohse is currently without a team, and suggests that Michael Bourn and Adam LaRoche might have gotten bigger contracts if not for the qualifying offer system. Weiner says "there will be discussions" about improving it. But, Weiner says, the system reduced the number of players whose free agency status was connected to draft pick compensation from "over 30" to nine.

In the 2012 draft, however, teams only lost nine picks as a result of signing free agents, and only three of those picks were first-rounders. In 2013, the qualifying offer system will reduce the number of lost picks only slightly. Three teams (the Nationals, Braves and Angels) have already lost their first-rounders, and there could be another when Lohse signs. The Indians, meanwhile, will lose two later picks for their signings of Nick Swisher and Bourn.

Here are more notes from around the majors..

  • Twins manager Ron Gardenhire isn't concerned about the fact that his contract expires after the season, reports Bob Nightengale of USA Today. "I'd like to stay here," says Gardenhire. "If it works out, it works. If it doesn't work out here, will I manage somewhere else? Well, I know I'm not ready to quit being a manager." The Twins lost 96 games in 2012 after dropping 99 in 2011.
  • Buster Olney of ESPN argues that MLB should ban home-plate collisions. Olney quotes a source who puts the dollar value (based on the value of a marginal win) of blocking home plate at $125K, and points out that the Giants lost far more than that when Buster Posey missed much of last season with an injury sustained in a home-plate collision.
  • The Marlins and Diamondbacks have discussed the status of pitcher Josh Booty, Steve Gilbert of MLB.com writes. The 37-year-old Booty is a non-roster invitee to Diamondbacks camp, but the Marlins drafted him with the fifth overall pick in 1994 and signed him with the idea that he would not pursue football. After he retired from baseball to play quarterback at LSU, the Marlins placed him on the restricted list, meaning that they technically still own his rights. Diamondbacks president Derrick Hall says the Marlins won't worry about it, however, unless Booty establishes himself as a potentially credible big-leaguer. "The Marlins are OK. They said go ahead and use him how you want in the spring," Hall says. "Their concern is if he's Major League material, they either have the right to him or the right to a trade. That's OK, we'll cross that path when we need to."

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