MLBPA’s Clark Concerned About Qualifying Offers

MLBPA head Tony Clark is worried about the qualifying offer system that has led Stephen Drew, Kendrys Morales and, perhaps to a lesser degree, Ervin Santana to remain on the free agent market into spring training, the Associated Press reports. "The way the free agent market has played itself out over the last couple of years suggests that draft pick compensation and the free agent market in general is a concern that we're paying attention to, obviously," Clark says.

Clark says he plans to make qualifying offers a "topic of discussion." It does not appear, however, that the union will address the issue before the current CBA expires following the 2016 season. "There's certain criteria that's going to have to be met for a CBA to be opened up (before then) and I'm not sure that's happened," Clark says.

The qualifying offer topic is in the news today in part because of of the surprisingly small deal Nelson Cruz received from the Orioles. Cruz, who had rejected a $14.1MM qualifying offer from the Rangers before hitting the open market, will receive just $8MM plus a possible $750K in incentives.


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101 Comments on "MLBPA’s Clark Concerned About Qualifying Offers"


PXDX
1 year 5 months ago

The whole system makes little sense and hurts the player not the team.

Mo Vaughn
1 year 5 months ago

Actually it does hurt the team signing the player because they have to surrender a high draft pick, though a lot of high draft picks don’t pan out.

jgordon
1 year 5 months ago

Its not just the draft pick, Along with the loss of the draft pick is the loss of money allotted for the rest of the picks.

Meh Sheep
1 year 5 months ago

It is only the money lost for the pick that was lost. True they can’t sign the player at that spot for under slot and have extra to spend later but they don’t lose any regular allocation for the later picks.

1 year 5 months ago

It makes it harder to go over the allotted amount on higher picks, which can be a helpful option for teams.

Meh Sheep
1 year 5 months ago

Only 5 of the 23 1st round or compensation non-protected picks were signed below slot by more than the $2,500 each (Tampa kept $2,500 from each of their 2 picks) and none by more than 10% of the slot. (key + >= slot, – < slot)

11-240,300
12+
13+
14-200,000
15-175,500
16+
17+
18+
19-205,000
20+
21-2,500
22+
23+
24-93,500
25+
26+
27+
28+
29-2,500
30+
31+
32+
33+

I didn't look at 2nd and 3rd round picks but there is less money in those picks to go below slot. So best case they would be looking at 240,300 in extra slot money to use in the first 10 rounds.

StevePegues
1 year 5 months ago

$240mil lost seems pretty significant to me.

Meh Sheep
1 year 5 months ago

That is thousand not million. 240,000,000 would be 240 million.

StevePegues
1 year 5 months ago

Oops. I guess I’m used to talking about millions when I talk about baseball money. My bad.

Still, $240K (and even down to the $93.5K you list in your analysis) seems pretty darn significant to me. If that’s the kind of money a team can’t have in its pocket to sign picks, in addition to the draft pick, then a team has to weigh that in their decision; I suspect they’d weigh it pretty heavy.

kcstengelSr
1 year 5 months ago

The easiest and most fair step for both sides is to make a player ineligible for a QO in consecutive years.
Kuroda, for example, would have been free to walk anywhere this year without compensation. Players might be more willing to accept the one-year QO while knowing that they are unrestricted the following year.

MadmanTX
1 year 5 months ago

Oh, I had forgotten about the qualifying offer being higher than what Cruz accepted today! Now, I really don’t get the deal. I wonder if his agent circled back to the Rangers at any point to see if they could get the same amount for Cruz to DH in Arlington? Then again, maybe a shot at playing the OF was more important to Cruz than the money?

not_brooks
1 year 5 months ago

With Lough, Jones and Markakis on the team and the importance Buck Showalter places on defense, I highly doubt Cruz is going to see much time in the Baltimore outfield.

gammaraze
1 year 5 months ago

The Rangers MIGHT have been willing to pay Cruz $8M, but I couldn’t be sure. It was reported that they were checking back and if his asking price continued to drop, they would consider it. I think Morales is a better fit.

Greg Searles
1 year 5 months ago

Agree system should change. In the meantime, this is Cruz and his agent’s own damn fault for not understanding the market, and rejecting the QO in the first place. TBSS.

Haewon Kim
1 year 5 months ago

I don’t know if the system should change, but it will change the minds of free agents and their agents… they’ll be more likely to accept the qualifying offers from now on… and when that happens, teams will be less likely to offer QO’s… then many more FA’s won’t be attached to draft pick compensation and the market will play out. The system is in its infancy so some players and teams are getting shafted, but in the end, it’s not a totally screwed up system.

James Stevens
1 year 5 months ago

Hard to feel bad for Cruz. He overvalued himself based on numbers he put up while juicing.

michael T
1 year 5 months ago

He gets to be a free agent next year and I can gurantee you the O’s wont make a qualifying offer.

LittleOtterPaws
1 year 5 months ago

There is no issue with the system, agents/players didn’t know how to play ball in this system, now they do.

Expect more accepted offers next year if the system stays the same.

NoAZPhilsPhan
1 year 5 months ago

Especially now that they have seen what happened to Cruz and Drew. This has really got to be a pain for someone like Boras who consistently tries to over-sell his clients.

The_Unnatural
1 year 5 months ago

Yeah, all the blogs thought Cruz and Morales would be smart to take the QO. They saw this coming but the players and their agents didn’t

James
1 year 5 months ago

Well here’s an idea: accept the qualifying offers!

wakefield4life
1 year 5 months ago

The qualifying offer is in place to entice players not to reject them and continue playing with their current team. The players that are out of work right now had the option to accept the qualifying offer, and players like Cruz, Morales, and to a lesser extent Drew should have accepted them because they weren’t superstars like Cano where the cost of a draft pick actually affects their value. There are always going to be players that fall through the cracks in a system like this (See: Type A relief pitchers). This was their safety net and they chose to disregard it.

Joel Zamora
1 year 5 months ago

Qualifying offers are in place so that team
s that lose their players receive something in return

wakefield4life
1 year 5 months ago

That’s the function of the compensation pick for the draft.

Kitty Cat Puppy Paws
1 year 5 months ago

if you’re an average-ish player and someone hands you a wheelbarrow full of cash to play for them for only a yr, and your response is “no way, i want more wheelbarrows.” that’s kind of just on you. no one’s fault but your own. greedy greedy greedy. i dont feel bad for these guys at all.

i could see an argument that there should be some adjustment for the team, maybe, but on the other hand i like that these guys are, for the first time, having to pull their heads out of their bvtts and come back to reality.

1 year 5 months ago

Is Clark going to send a memo to teams that says “please give players the contracts they ask no matter how ridiculous they are?” He’s obviously going to say things like this because he’s speaking for the MLBPA, but no one should take it seriously.

Koop87
1 year 5 months ago

It seems players/agents are approaching this whole situation as if accepting the QO isn’t a real option and that players are just automatically given a scarlet letter for having been extended one. The dynamics of extending a QO to a player might start changing if players actually start accepting them, but as of right now that 0/22 is making it easier for teams to give QOs without consequence.

phillies1102
1 year 5 months ago

I don’t see what was wrong with the entire A and B system we had a while ago. All of the players who are stuck in limbo now are quality type B free agents back then who are thrown under the same bus as the superstars, who don’t feel pain from the QO system.

There is also a caveat that people ignore. In the past, when a team with the 20th pick signs a guy, the pick is replaced by the former team of the player, which didnt affect the teams picking below. Nowadays, the pick vanishes, meaning all of the good teams with low 20th picks now get to move up a spot for free. I thought the system was supposed to be helping bad teams, not good ones.

Meh Sheep
1 year 5 months ago

It is better than the system before where teams like the Red Sox or Yankees would let their type A player walk and sign a different type A and exchange their high 20s pick for an earlier pick and gain a supplemental pick on top of it. Or better yet do it twice and exchange a late second rounder for a second supplemental and another earlier pick.

johnsilver
1 year 5 months ago

Don’t you mean Tampa bay? Then people don’t want to mention the rays in that scenario, since they would get sometimes up to 8 picks in the 1-1S round. It’s easier to pick on Boston.

Forget NY. They didn’t offer arbitration much. Hard to when the FA were guys like Posada making 13m and Bobby Abreu making 16m with both going downhill.

Edit:

Boston had a fair share of guys getting way too much also.. Like JD drew, but mostly guys signed via FA. Not many they had extended (exception being Becket) who they generally allowed to walk away via FA before they got old and took the picks beforehand.

Erik Trenouth
1 year 5 months ago

I have said it before and I will say it again. Free Agents want years on their contracts more than they want extra dollar figures. Make the QO $40m over 3 years. There will still be a lot of QO given out, but then the players will actually consider taking them.

1 year 5 months ago

That makes little sense. Players like Hiroki Kuroda and David Ortiz are good enough to warrant QOs, but are too old for that to be plausible. Also, why set a fixed number on a multiyear deal. There is a 0% chance that ever gets implemented.

Erik Trenouth
1 year 5 months ago

Why would they be considered good enough to warrant a current QO, but not good enough for a 3 year deal? If they don’t view them as a player who can contribute for a few years, why get a draft pick for them?
It isn’t meant to be a fixed number, but a growing number, the same as the QO is now. This year would have 3 years and $42.3m, and continue to grow from there.

1 year 5 months ago

Because they would be in their 40s and players in their 40s rarely get multiyear deals. There’s no reason to force a team to hand out a multiyear contract at an arbitrary number like the 3 you chose. There’s no precedent to arrive at such a number nor has there ever been a push for teams to gravitate toward offering fixed multiyear deals. Your suggestion also doesn’t address the fact that players of different positions command different multi-year values. That is a flaw that exists with the current system but a one year deal is far less problematic than a 3.

Teams that lose high impact players deserve some sort of compensation for their loss.

Erik Trenouth
1 year 5 months ago

Why can’t the compensation for these players be something that they want, not what the teams want? Ortiz is upset right now because his deal doesn’t go beyond this season. So why would he be happy with current QO. Of course he is going to turn it down. The main problem with the current system is that players aren’t even considering accepting these offers. At 2 years, they probably wouldn’t either. At 3 years, they would start to consider it.

1 year 5 months ago

The players’ decisions to reject the QO is their problem, not a flaw of the system. Cruz, Morales, and Drew have played hard ball hoping that their demands will be met and failed. That’s on their agents, not the QO system.

The QO process works fine for elite players because they were going to get paid anyway. Accepting the QO would result in a multiyear raise for Cruz, Morales, and Drew. They chose to take a risk and decline it. Risks have consequences. The system isn’t broken because players allowed their agents to tell them they deserved more money than teams were willing to pay.

Ortiz is unhappy because he wants an extra year tacked on to the deal he already agreed to. There’s no reason to give him what he wants other than to make him happy which isn’t universally accepted as a legitimate reason.

Erik Trenouth
1 year 5 months ago

The flaw in the system was that they were extended a QO. None of them are what you call impact players, and yet the teams knew that they would turn them down. What is the point of having a team extend an offer that everyone knows they will turn down.
What multiyear raise would Cruz, Morales and Drew hav gotten if they accepted the QO, or do you mean with my idea?

As far as precedence for the 3 years, where is the precedence for 1 year? The salary comes from the top 125 salaries, so why shouldn’t the number of years be based on something like that too?

1 year 5 months ago

I meant multimillion.

The precedence for the 1 year is every year since compensation started. That is the way it’s always been. Adding years into the equation doesn’t work since older players tend to operate on shorter deals and all players without six years of service time are fixed at that salary anyway. That is too much of a mess.

We’re two years into the new system so it was perfectly conceivable that Morales and Drew might have accepted the deal. Next year, I’d almost guarantee that someone accepts, which means the process will function more like it was intended to. All players aren’t supposed to turn the deal down. The fact that they all have results in what we have now. Players without contracts because they overvalued their worth. That is the problem.

Wednesday
1 year 5 months ago

Teams shouldn’t know they will turn them down. 14 for Cruz is a ludicrously high figure. He should have jumped on it.

Lary Lapczynski
1 year 5 months ago

Seems to me that the remaining players with QOs should have taken the $14.1m they would have gotten for the one year. Did any of these guys look in the mirror or the back of their baseball card, and honestly think they were worth more than that on an annual average? Which one did you want for 3 at 42.3m of 4 at 56.4? They all have either flaws in their game, bad comps, age or injury issues or in Cruz’s most of them and a PED history. Sure the system needs tweeked, but most are getting about what they deserved.

discollama
1 year 5 months ago

I really have no sympathy for these players. After all, it’s not like they weren’t offered deals. I would have figured that they would have learned this lesson after last year. The QO system isn’t broken, players are just greedy and upset. The lesson here is that if you’re marginal take the offer!

Joel Zamora
1 year 5 months ago

The qualified offers should remain on the table unless they are pulled back in which case their would not be draft pick compensation attached.

Kitty Cat Puppy Paws
1 year 5 months ago

i like this idea

RSBuletz
1 year 5 months ago

How can you leave it on the table? Teams have to have some kind of salary certainty and can’t make moves in their best interest if $14M is just sitting out there waiting for player see if he can make a better deal.

Joel Zamora
1 year 5 months ago

Then you should pull it back, the qualifying offer should only be offered to players who are worth more than 14 million such as cano for example where as you can leave the offer in the table and still go on signing who you want and if he accepts the team got a steal but if he signs somewhere else the team receives a draft pick

1 year 5 months ago

The QO system is based around the notion that a player would be worth 14.1 to the team is they returned. The fact that certain players are worth much more than that shouldn’t matter. Leaving a huge safety net for fringe players isn’t fair to the team that extends the offer.

Joel Zamora
1 year 5 months ago

As it stands right now the qualifying offer system isn’t fair to players, I was looking for a middle ground

1 year 5 months ago

It’s perfectly fair. It offers players a chance at 14.1 million dollars. If they decide to decline it, then that’s a risk they choose to take.

Joel Zamora
1 year 5 months ago

If it was fair then there wouldn’t be a post on Mlbtraderumors and we wouldn’t be commenting about it

1 year 5 months ago

That doesn’t make sense. MLBTR posted on what an executive in the Players Union is saying. That has no correlation with the validity of the argument.

Joel Zamora
1 year 5 months ago

The executive of the players union is bringing up the issue because it is hampering players from recieving offers from teams who are not willing to part with first round draft picks

1 year 5 months ago

He’s ignoring the fact that all of those players had ridiculous contract demands because that it his job. Clark is not an altruistic hero looking for justice. He’s trying to maximize player salaries. He’s clearly biased.

Joel Zamora
1 year 5 months ago

he is head of the players union not the commisioner

Joel Zamora
1 year 5 months ago

this qualifying offer system is a benefit to the teams not the players

1 year 5 months ago

Where did I say he was the commissioner?

michael T
1 year 5 months ago

They all got multiple offers. Just not as much as they wanted. The players overvalued what they were worth and they are blaiming the draft pick on them not being conistent good players.

Joel Zamora
1 year 5 months ago

Also those QO shouldn’t be offered to fringe players

1 year 5 months ago

Why not?

Joel Zamora
1 year 5 months ago

because they should be offered to players that will fetch more than the 14.1 and for multiple years such as cano, choo, elsbury, Jimenez.etc. that way they still recieve a draft pick and you would not be hindering the free agent

gammaraze
1 year 5 months ago

Fringe players CLEARLY aren’t worth $14.1 million, so you shouldn’t even be allowed to offer it to them and get their hopes up…

1 year 5 months ago

If more fringe players accepted their QOs then fewer would be offered. That would be a big step toward the system functioning as it was intended to.

gammaraze
1 year 5 months ago

Obviously, I’m in agreement with you. It should really work like this, or rather be thought of like this: Does the team think the player is worth $14.1M for 1 year?? Yes? OK, make the offer. Does the player think they are worth $14.1M AND a draft pick??

EDIT: You should check out my post (in this thread) regarding a type A/B type of QO system, and provide your thoughts.

Kitty Cat Puppy Paws
1 year 5 months ago

The only difference between this idea and the current one is that instead of a set deadline for decisions to be made, each team could decide when they could pull back the offer. If the team filled its holes before the player accepted the offer, then the team would pull the offer back, and the player would be free from draft pick compensation. All it means is that the team would be able to reserve the player until the team had constructed its roster… ok, you know what? now that i’m typing this i dont think it’d really work out too well. lol. sounded good at first, but now that i’ve thought about it really just sounds like a hybrid of the current QO system and the reserve clause. lol. the player would still probably end up in the same place at the end of the season. nevermind. wouldnt work. ‘A’ for effort, though. :)

Peter Stoll
1 year 5 months ago

Thats impossible. you cant force a GM to try to plan his whole offseason around a potential mandatory 14 million dollar commitment while the player trys to find the best deal for himself.

Joel Zamora
1 year 5 months ago

Read my recent post tell me what you think

not_brooks
1 year 5 months ago

The only players that are being “hurt” by the QO system are players who don’t deserve much more than a one year deal.

More than one year for a 33-year-old, oft-injured DH coming off a PED suspension?

More than one year for a 31-year-old DH with a sub-.800 OPS over the past two seasons?

More than one year for a 31-year-old SS with a .725 OPS over the past three seasons?

Santana’s the only player listed above I’d commit more than one year to, and he put up a 5.00+ ERA season just a couple of years ago.

The Zeroes
1 year 5 months ago

Make the system have either a qualifying offer and right of first refusal.
A player is given the QO or the option of the club to have the refusal of a contract negotiated. If the player refuses the QO then the ball club will take either the draft pick comp or the right to refuse the contract the player gets offered. Giving the ball club the right to retain the player for the same money as is negotiated by another club would preclude the loss of a draft pick by the negotiating team.

1 year 5 months ago

That doesn’t make a lot of sense with the QO still in there. First rights of refusal isn’t a terrible idea, but having the QO offered first doesn’t create a very plausible or sensible situation.

The Zeroes
1 year 5 months ago

I have always thought that if they are concerned that teams are losing player without a just compensation that a right of refusal could be implemented.
Players that are traded in the middle of a long term contract have the right to demand another trade or the termination of the contract and become a free agent but the teams have no recourse.
The entire system has its warts and no one band aid will fix it unless the field for employment is level or compensated.

Peter Stoll
1 year 5 months ago

You cant do that, how would that work with a guy like cano who is signing a ten year deal? You cant force a player to stay in a city for multiple years essentially against his will.

The Zeroes
1 year 5 months ago

When these players say it is not about the money, it is. Cano’s contract is the perfect example. Yankees had offered 7 years and Cano wanted more years that Seattle was willing to give. I do not think the Yankees would have matched that type of deal given the age of the player and the Salary Tax implications.
It could work to a players best interest if they get creative with the contract.
Or if there is an acceptance of the contract offered allow the player to void the deal after 25 % of the contract is fulfilled or three years, which ever comes first.
Had they matched the offer, they probably do not sign others to the money they did.

ChrisSEA84
1 year 5 months ago

I feel bad for Kendrys Morales, I can’t imagine what he’s going to do now.. Although he doesn’t have the PED cloud hanging over his head, but still.

goorru
1 year 5 months ago

Poor guy turned down $14 million dollars. How sad.

HaloHero
1 year 5 months ago

Complain all you want, but I fail to see how giving a player an opportunity to play 1 year for over 14 million is unfair. If they’re good enough to make that kind of money guaranteed for a year, take the offer and bring your talents to the next year.

docmilo5
1 year 5 months ago

Exactly. Clark needs to be quiet and tell agents to take the QO’s. When enough of them take the deals, GM’s will start getting gun shy about offering them to people they don’t want back. GM’s are just fishing for draft picks. Good for them.

dmm1047
1 year 5 months ago

God forbid there should be anything that benefits the owners, huh? The players and agents want it all their way. How many draft picks become stars a year or two after being drafted? Maybe 3-4 years, if ever. This whole draft pick whining thing is a joke.

homer
homer
1 year 5 months ago

Agreed, The team takes all the risks in all matters be it performance, injury or even bad attendance and they must accept and attempt to correct what ever went wrong. The players only responsibility is to cash their check on time. I am not saying players should not get theirs but when teams talk about taking pensions from the little guys where do you suppose that money is going.

Peter Stoll
1 year 5 months ago

Players, especially ones who arent that good, should probably start accepting qualifying offers more. Here’s my reasoning. Stephen Drew was made a qualifying offer of 14.1 million, which he rejected in favor of free agency, where he, optimistically would have hoped for 4 years around 40 million, so 10 a year. But, more realistically, he should have expected a three year deal, worth around 11 million a year. So, lets say earning 35 million in 3 years was his goal. had he accepted to offer, he would be 21 million away. meaning going into next offseason he would have had one of two things happen, another qualifying offer, which he could accept and then be only 7 million away with away with another year OR boston doesnt want you to accept it again and doesnt offer it, meaning he hits the market without compensation which makes a 2 year 20 million dollar deal VERY reasonable even if he got worse on the field. All this means is Im smarter than scott boras.

Erik Trenouth
1 year 5 months ago

Or, he gets injured and misses a lot of time, hits FA next offseason and is given a minor league contract with incentives. Players want guaranteed money, and guaranteed years. Job security goes a long way, even to millionaires.

Brian Meyer
1 year 5 months ago

Every player in baseball having job security is unrealistic. It is a privilege that should be attained by the elite, and only the elite. There are new players being filtered in every year. By giving someone like Stephen Drew job security because you think it would be the professional thing to do is not only stupid, but potentially tying up money that should be going to a player much more deserving of the position. I think you were just trying to explain the point from a players perspective so this is not meant to be a knock on you, but it is not that the system needs changing, it is the players who need to realize that the game is changing and the money they receive needs to be earned rather than signing a guaranteed deal that pays out absurd money even when your performance value declines far below your contract value. If there is a positive change that should occur in defense of the players, it should probably be the arbitration process starting after the first or second year of a players career.

homer
homer
1 year 5 months ago

We all want job security and guaranteed money but in this world it has to be earned so if a player has a high risk of injury why should a team be forced to give multi-year deals?.