Boras: Morales, Drew Willing To Wait Until June To Sign

Though Ervin Santana and Nelson Cruz have both caved and agreed to one-year deals after their free agent markets were significantly weighed down by their rejection of qualifying offers, Kendrys Morales and Stephen Drew have no such plans to do, agent Scott Boras tells ESPN's Jerry Crasnick. Instead, the two plan to continue working out while awaiting multi-year deals, and could hold out until after the June amateur draft to do so (after which the draft compensation will no longer apply).

Boras feels that the qualifying offer system has "basically prevented them from free agency," opining that the system has instead placed both players "in jail." He offers criticism both of the system and of those who feel that his clients simply made a poor decision by not accepting a qualifying offer. Says Boras:

"Everybody talks about these players turning down these (one-year) qualifying offers like they're village idiots. The reason is, they don't want to be in the same position again next year. If I'm a good player, I'm going to take the prospect of free agency. If I'm one of these players, I'm not on the train to free agency — I'm on the ferris wheel of multiple qualifying offers. It is circular. There is no escape hatch to the system."

Whether or not one agrees with Boras' assessment of the system, there's certainly truth to the fact that players coming off strong seasons don't want to sign a one-year deal and find themselves in the same situation a year later. Players want security and stability both for themselves and their families; the prospect of either being separated from your family for a year or continually moving your family around the country does not appeal to many.

From my view, it's rather telling that Jhonny Peralta, who is nearly 11 months older than Drew and coming off a season in which he served a 50-game suspension for PEDs, was able to secure a four-year, $53MM contract while Drew remains unemployed. There's something to be said about contending teams with significant payrolls simply not feeling a need to add a shortstop, but one would imagine that Drew's market would improve significantly were the qualifying offer not attached. That's not to say he'd have received as large a guarantee as Peralta, but a reasonable three-year deal seems like it should have been attainable. A one-year deal, even at a higher rate than the average annual value he might receive on a three- or four-year deal, doesn't seem practical for a 30-year-old shortstop coming off a solid season.


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213 Comments on "Boras: Morales, Drew Willing To Wait Until June To Sign"


JacobyWanKenobi
1 year 5 months ago

Oh lord, just take a one year deal now instead of a one year deal in June and start building value.

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 5 months ago

I agree with you in general but Drew may very well be looking at next years FA SS class and be scared he’ll be in an even worse position.

pft2
1 year 5 months ago

The injury prone Lowrie, the no OBP Hardy, the very expensive Hanley Ramirez (if he does not sign an extension)?. The erratic Cabrera who had a 1.2 WAR last year and has had 1.5 WAR or more declines the last 2 years?

Ron Loreski
1 year 5 months ago

All of whom are still better than Drew.

brian310
1 year 5 months ago

lol too true

Peter Middleton
1 year 5 months ago

at offense. What if you already have good offense and need a groundball machine? Still not sure why Ramirez has not been moved to 3rd. Beast of a bat

kcmark
1 year 5 months ago

So if the worst thing that happened to Drew was he plays 2 years at the QO -that a 2yr/28.2M contract. Much more than he is worth.

docmilo5
1 year 5 months ago

Yes, and if you get a QO again next year, take it!

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 5 months ago

Every time Boras speaks I lose all sympathy for Drew and Morales

SumatranRatMonkey
1 year 5 months ago

I hate to defend Boras, but what he is saying here is true. Regardless of what the compensation program was intended to it, it’s benefiting clubs with lots of money to spend and punishing mid-tier free agents.

The Red Sox and Yankees each had 3 players they gave the QO. That allowed them to sign a bunch of free agents without having to give up as many draft picks. They were only able to do that because they could afford to give 3 guys $14 million each(if they had all accepted). A team like the Brewers would have to weight the pros and cons of extending just one qualifying offer. Also, the Sox/Yankees could have just pocketed the draft picks. That would have potentially given them 4 draft picks before most teams got 2. That’s broken.

Robinson Cano still got paid but then you also have guys that are decent but not great players who are forced to sign for less money than they would have otherwise. The people benefiting financially are the owners since less money is going to the players.

JB3
1 year 5 months ago

As much as the QO system favors the large markets, it’s offset by the introduction of the competitive balance picks. As an example, Miami has 4 of the first 43 picks (45 if Morales and Drew sign before June) in this years draft, without making a single QO.

Metsfan93
1 year 5 months ago

How does it definitely change to 45? What if picks are surrendered by signing Drew or Morales? Comp picks are added, but first rounders could be surrendered, too.

JB3
1 year 5 months ago

Fair enough, it depends on who signs them. My original point still stands. Small market teams have the competitive balance picks as an advantage (which are partially based on market size). Large markets have the QO system as a higher risk advantage.

NomarGarciaparra
1 year 5 months ago

Can you explain how that competitive balance pick system works?

docmilo5
1 year 5 months ago

Don’t defend Boras. If he wasn’t so greedy, he would have known better to take the QOs for guys like Drew and Morales. $14.1 mill was more money that either are worth.

When more players starte accepting the QO’s, fewer teams will offer them.

SumatranRatMonkey
1 year 5 months ago

Look man, you need to face reality. Boras is an agent and his job is to get his clients the most money he can. In the majority of instances, he does that. If you think he made a bad call with Drew and Morales that’s one thing. But to say he got greedy is naive. It’s not greed, it’s his job.

docmilo5
1 year 5 months ago

$14.1 is the best that Drew, Morales and Cruz were going to get. Boras should have jumped all over that. That’s reality.

DMoney1184
1 year 5 months ago

To be fair, in the case of anticipating the market for Stephen Drew, I think if you tried to tell Scott Boras, in the beginning of the off-season that A) Alex Rodriguez would be suspended for all of 2014, B) Derek Jeter would announce that 2014 would be his final season and C) that in spite of this, the Yankees would honestly seem prepared to go into 2014 with Brian Roberts and Kelly Johnson penciled in at second and third, respectively, I think he (Boras) would laugh in your face. That’s like when Cashman said he was prepared to go into spring training with Bubba Crosby penciled into the everyday center field job. No one took him seriously (and for those of you who forget, they were right not to, in that scenario–Cashman signed Johnny Damon a few weeks later).

Peter Middleton
1 year 5 months ago

Who deserves the money more, the owners or the players? I like to see the players get paid. Its not like anyone is stealing the money away

docmilo5
1 year 5 months ago

The fans.

Peter Middleton
1 year 5 months ago

I have a feeling you dont deserve it at all. EARN IT. Cry baby.

Vandals Took The Handles
1 year 5 months ago

Boras is great theatre…..

When his clients sign outrageous contracts from desperate owners/GM’s, he talks about the market.

But when the market goes against him, he wants the rules changed.

Sort of a corporate welfare guy.

bjsguess
1 year 5 months ago

The fact is that we don’t know what offers have been made to either player. Nor do we have a clear picture of their asking price.

The reality is that teams will value those draft picks anywhere between $5-$15M. If you are guy like Morales, you need to factor that into your cost. So, if you believe that a fair market price without a draft pick would be 4/$50M (still too high IMO), you better be ready to settle for 4/$35-$45M … and that’s on a good day. My speculation is that Boras is telling people that you can’t discount his players because they have a draft pick assigned to them. But that’s the reality of the situation. Teams are not going to pay even money for a player with that anchor around the neck.

NL_East_Rivalry
1 year 5 months ago

I think if he gets them to accept a lower salary it will end up better for him. People may sympathize for the players missing out on minions.

What I hope happens is that they wait and still don’t get what they are looking for. Then that will prove that the QO wasn’t the thing killing their value, but their insane demands.

Shawn Baublitz
1 year 5 months ago

I want a minion

johnsilver
1 year 5 months ago

I’m not so sure Drew wouldn’t have gotten an offer in the same range as peralta did had he not been represented by Boras and been told to wait ‘until the market shapes out”, then had that same offer shopped to 29 other teams for a couple of weeks instead of getting a quick sign like the Cardinals did with Peralta.

Boras really is slow learning each and every year to market adjustments. He falls further behind on his mid tier players every year, attempting force deals where none are available and jams them up, then throws the blame the other way.

Metsfan93
1 year 5 months ago

While he may have had 4/53+ offers early on, even if Drew had a different agent, I don’t think he would’ve gone to St. Louis. While the question of draft pick lowering a contract by 5-15 MM is valid for most organizations, some teams (Cards, I’d guess A’s, Rays) might just not give up a draft pick for a non-superstar on anything shy of a Kyle Lohse-type discount.

pft2
1 year 5 months ago

What discount? In his age 34-36 years Lohse has a 11 million AAV. Last year he produced 1.8 fWAR and is projected by Zips to deliver all of 1.5 WAR next year

The A’s and Rays are too cheap to pay the money even w/o any draft pick consideration. Cards paid 4/52 for a player coming off a PED suspension in his age 32-35 years. No discount there and I don’t consider Peralta to be a super star

Meanwhile, in another late signing the Braves give up a 1st round pick for just 1 year of Santana. Salary plus the cost of the pick is about 21 million and he is projected for 2.7 WAR. No discount there.

Like I said, the market changed suddenly after the winter meetings in early December. Boras perception pre-December was probably right on, but who knows what went on in those meetings behind closed doors.

SumatranRatMonkey
1 year 5 months ago

Fangraphs and Zips use FIP to derive their WAR values and FIP has trouble properly valuing pitch-to-contact/non-strikeout guys like Lohse. His true value is probably closer to B-Ref’s which was 4.3 WAR in 2012 and 3.3 WAR in 2013. B-Ref uses RA/9 for their pitcher values.

pft2
1 year 5 months ago

FIPs is supposed to be a better predictor for future ERA though, and guys who strike out only 5.6/9 Ip rely on their defense a lot. Split the difference and 2.5 WAR is till not much of a discount given an expected 0.5 WAR per year decline. That’s 6 WAR over the deal and 33 million, or 5.5 million/win, which is about market value depending on who you read

PaperLions
1 year 5 months ago

In general, FIP is a better predictor…but it is a general model and we know very well that the performance of some types of pitchers isn’t predicted particulary well by that model. There are some guys it will always miss low on and some guys it will always miss high on, which is inevitable when you use a generalized model that makes a lot of assumptions when the veracity of those assumptions differs among subjects.

IMO, using FIP is a poor way to estimate value…doing so is the equivalent of regressing BABIP, BB rates, K rates, and HR/FB rates for hitters before calculating WAR, which isn’t done for good reason.

LazerTown
1 year 5 months ago

FIP has the best correlation, but isn’t always the best way to judge their year. 1.8 WAR sounds pretty bad, but Lohse gave 200 innings of 3.35 era ball. He had a great season, and was quite a bit better than 1.8 wins. WAR is a good general stat that encompasses everything, but some players do not stay true to FIP.

sunshipballoons
1 year 5 months ago

That’s obviously not true about the A’s: Scott Kazmir.

LazerTown
1 year 5 months ago

Not always though. Not all GM’s have huge job security. Even if the value of that draft pick is $15M the team won’t see that for 4 years, especially since you don’t lose the top 15 picks. But this only really makes sense for teams on the hump. Really good teams often want the prospects to continue their run, bad teams have no need to improve a few wins, because it just makes their draft pick worse. The value of pushing a team into the playoffs is pretty good, and can be worth the draft pick loss.

Bernard Middlebrook
1 year 5 months ago

great post. It is amazing that Boras didn’t learn from last year, when this nearly happened to Rafael Soriano after Boras foolishly had him opt out of $14 million for his last season with NY (and rejected the QO). He got 2/28 very late from the Nats, which was most likely a favor to Boras because he has 6 or 7 clients on that team, including Bryce Harper. The Nats know they’re gonna have to deal with him a lot in the future…. not that doing him a favor will get them any discounts in the future…

pft2
1 year 5 months ago

I think his players are pretty happy with him. Did Ok by Choo, Beltran and Ellsbury, and last year he got good deals for guys like Lohse, Bourn and Soriano. Look at what they got paid and what they produced last year. A total of 34 AAV for 9 years for 4.3 WAR produced in 2013. They all signed late.

Like I said in a previous post, the market changed suddenly after the MLB winter meetings in December. Everyone suddenly tightened the belt for some reason.

LazerTown
1 year 5 months ago

Boras doesn’t represent Beltran anymore.

pft2
1 year 5 months ago

Yeah, but he helped them out by refusing the Yankees offer to Choo. LOL

FineHamAbounds
1 year 5 months ago

He’s not wrong, although he does embellish it a little. The system does a disservice to these mid-tier guys by assigning a draft pick value that is not equivalent to their talent level.

Karkat
1 year 5 months ago

Only because they turned down a one-year offer that was above their talent level. The system would only really do a disservice to someone who was worth a slightly better contract that the QO, but not quite enough more to make up for the draft pick. (Ervin Santana sort of fit that bill this season.)

sunshipballoons
1 year 5 months ago

You prove FineHam’s point. Mid-tier players are left with two choices: accept more than they are worth, but only get a one year deal, or accept much less than they are worth (or possibly accept nothing) by looking for a longer term deal. That is a disservice, where non-restricted FAs have, you know, actual free agency with choices.

chicothekid
1 year 5 months ago

Yeah, I’d hate getting paid more than I was worth. That must be awful. What a dilemma.

Mike
1 year 5 months ago

How about creating a FA deadline. If you don’t sign before Opening Day, then you’ll have to miss the season.

DMoney1184
1 year 5 months ago

Can’t see the Player’s Union agreeing to that.

Karkat
1 year 5 months ago

Was there this much whining about the old Type A designation? I feel like there wasn’t.

Metsfan93
1 year 5 months ago

The game changes; teams actually care more about their draft picks these days. Plus, Garza, Nolasco might’ve qualified as Type A’s back then, since midseason trades didn’t affect offering arbitration. Then, the top 15 worst records were protected, instead of top-ten picks.

Derpy
1 year 5 months ago

Signing a type A free agent didn’t reduce your draft bonus pool by 35%. Mostly because there weren’t bonus pools or slot bonuses. The slot money is the issue, not the pick.

LazerTown
1 year 5 months ago

Draft pool slotting system makes the picks more valuable. Also teams that lost players could get the 2 picks. Also made it easier on players because it was arbitration. They weren’t likely to get $14MM, so it made it easier for them to accept that lesser offer.

There have been several restrictions on teams getting talent, and now they want an international draft.

sunshipballoons
1 year 5 months ago

Also, under the old system, you were only giving up a draft pick if you got a Type A guy, which means you’re only giving up picks for top 20% guys. Now, you end up with RFAs who are not as good, and those guys have to give up free agency to get at least their market value (i.e., by accepting the qualifying offer).

pft2
1 year 5 months ago

The market changed significantly after the MLB winter meetings in December. Think about that. There were articles speculating that Drew would get upwards of 3/40.

thwacker
1 year 5 months ago

9 million for one year just aint enough. Soon a hot dog will be $15. Enjoy your time sitting on the Red Sox bench, Drew.

sunshipballoons
1 year 5 months ago

Player salaries do not affect hot dog prices. Owners will always try to sell hot dogs for an amount that maximizes [price per hot dog] x [hot dogs sold].

jimfetterolf
1 year 5 months ago

Took a look at Drew on fangraphs and the thing that jumps out is his inconsistency. Not sure anyone will go a three year deal on him and he might be surprised at how low the offers are for a half year deal. Boras has delusions of grandeur.

rich
1 year 5 months ago

He’s actually been a fairly consistent performer in his career except for the two seasons which were impacted by that brutal injury. That injury was so severe it lingered into the next season and he still wasn’t ready to play.

Tommets
1 year 5 months ago

They’re obviously saying this so that someone will sign them.

Eric James
1 year 5 months ago

14 million dollars a year isn’t going to provide stability to drew and his family? Are you kidding me? Just play for the love of the game, play in the best baseball city in the world and take the qualifying offer. It’s still a ton of money.

SumatranRatMonkey
1 year 5 months ago

You’re being silly. You and I wouldn’t give up the chance to make an extra $100 doing whatever it is we do. Why should these guys be expected to potentially give up millions? The money is either going to players or it’s going to the owners. I’d rather see it go to the players.

Eric James
1 year 5 months ago

Darrell Revis just signed a one year 12 million dollar deal because he has so much confidence in his abilities that he is willing to showcase his talent and sign a contract the following year. No team is going to pay Drew 14 million per year . I do feel bad that Drew took bad advice from his agent though.

SumatranRatMonkey
1 year 5 months ago

Dude, no one said Drew was going to get a long term deal with an AAV of 14 million. You do understand that clubs don’t have to sign these guys for that much right? He might have been able to get something like 3/30 though.

Also, football players are not good for comparisons. Revis doesn’t have to worry about his free agent value being perpetually diminished by qualifying offers like baseball players do.

JB3
1 year 5 months ago

Football players can get the Franchise Tag 3 years in a row. Sure it isn’t perpetual, but a rookie deal + 3 years of tags would take a player past his prime years.

1 year 5 months ago

I listened to an NFL agent talk about what it was like dealing with the franchise tag for a premium client. It transfers immense leverage to the team, long before the player is slapped with the tag. The background NFL rules only make things worse.

Metsfan93
1 year 5 months ago

Some team paid Jhonny Peralta 13.25 MM per year for four years. I think you underestimate baseball salary inflation.

westcoastwhitesox
1 year 5 months ago

Peralta is a better hitter than most SS…I think his payday was pretty typical of the best offensive player at his position going to a team who believes they’ll compete for the World Series in each of the next 4 years.

Metsfan93
1 year 5 months ago

Also, you’re seriously using *Darrelle Revis* as an example of someone who put up and shut up when it comes to money? The same player who complained about his contract status twice, got his rookie deal renegotiated into an extension after a hold out, and then got himself traded and earned 16 million dollars? That Darrelle Revis?

pft2
1 year 5 months ago

Thats what Drew did last year. It is also what Boras meant by the Ferris Wheel and just facing the same problem next year. You don’t want to be on the Ferris Wheel when it stops because then you get nothing.

People were saying the same thing about Lohse last year and he did all right. Only player who did not was Cruz, but he was coming off a PED suspension, can’t hit away from Arlingtons hitters park and can’t play defense, so he definitely should have taken the QO

chicothekid
1 year 5 months ago

Absolutely NO reason to feel bad for Drew here at all. We all know the reputation that Boras has, so you better believe the players know it as well. So who did Drew want for his agent? He wanted Boras. He is getting exactly what he deserves. I just wish it happened to all of Boras’ clients.

Metsfan93
1 year 5 months ago

Or, attempt to experience free agency and potentially go for one last payday. 14 MM will certainly provide financial stability for his family for the foreseeable ever, but that’s not the only variable. The entire point of free agency is that Drew should be allowed to go wherever he wants, as long as the team has a need and is willing to meet his demands. Perhaps he simply didn’t want to stay in a city where he clearly wasn’t wanted by the team (this has been evidenced of late by the lack of Drew-to-Boston rumors, and the Xander/WMB tandem)

Eric James
1 year 5 months ago

The sox GM liked Drew so much that he offered him the chance to make more money than Lester, Brady or Pedoria make in a single year. I bet Drew would be the first one to admit to you that he regrets not signing the initial offer with Boston. Drew thinks that he is a top 5 shortstop in the league which simply isn’t true and the fact that he hasn’t been to spring training is proof of that.

Metsfan93
1 year 5 months ago

Where did Stephen Drew ever say he was a top five shortstop in Major League Baseball? Because he turned down a qualifying offer instead opting to use his right, as someone with six plus years of service time and no 2014 contract, to sell his services to the team he wants to go to?
I fully believe the Red Sox only offered it because he has Scott Boras as an agent and knew he would decline it to at least test the market. They have Xander and want him as their shortstop. Sure, he could move to third, but that isn’t optimal for his development.
Tom Brady has made well more than 14 MM in a single season, and will continue to do so in 2014 once his signing bonus payment is factored in. Base salary means nothing there.

Stephen Drew would’ve been in line for a Rollins-esque (4/44 with vesting option, two years outdated) to Peralta-esque contract without draft pick compensation tying him down. He’s a very good player but I think the overarching issue is that 14 MM really just isn’t an inconvenience for NY or Boston to offer and essentially destroy Drew’s market. There’s probably an underlying reason why Burnett claimed Pirate-or-retire until that wasn’t the case.

pft2
1 year 5 months ago

He already has that, his lifetime earnings are over 30 million. However, players are competitive, and with the Red Sox if he accepted it he would have been in danger of being a bench player or playing out of position which would have hurt his market value in 2015, or being traded to a team he did not like in June since the Red Sox did not really want him for 14 million.

Players also have responsibility to other players to take the best deal they can get. All deals get used as comps for arb hearings and in negotiations with other free agents

Its strange fans have so much of a problem with freedom of an employee to choose his employer and accept a defacto tax that employees must pay to work for another company who will pay them more. Very Unamerican

Eric James
1 year 5 months ago

Most teams like a versatile infielder and if drew played some games at second base or third that would improve his value. I like your point about using drew as trade bait at the deadline, but if drew is truly in it for the money he would’ve taken the qualifying offer and he wouldn’t be traded because he is an amazing utility player if he gets benched. I have a problem with drew rejecting 14 million because he had two hits in the 6 game long World Series, one of which should be considered as an error. Owners are always going to make more money than the players. In terms of America Drew should take the best deal that is offered to him All that drew offers is a good glove and a medium bar. I believe that boeharts has a better bar than him. There are plenty of shortstops that are good at fielding and honestly don’t defend boras by hiding behind employees over corporations. This is baseball the highest paying sport in the world so don’t drum up sympathy for players. Do you feel sorry that Drew is getting offered 14 million for playing baseball in nice weather from April to possible the end of October? I feel terribly for cano and arod. Tough lives.

Yankees420
1 year 5 months ago

You really don’t seem to be comprehending the issue here. Drew and (mainly) his agent wanted to test the free agent market. That is something that as a player in MLB, he has earned the right to do. The Red Sox have to right to offer him the QO, which he must reject in order to actually test the free agent market. Drew and Boras were obviously not interested in a 1 year deal (which is understandable, seeing as he just played on a 1 year deal and is coming off a solid season) and for Drew to think he could get a guarantee higher than 14MM (even at a lower AAV) was not an outlandish thought at the start of the free agency.

Also, the fact that baseball is an extremely high paying job should have zero to do with the ethics or ‘rightness’ of Drew’s and Boras’s actions. And choosing Cano and A-Rod as comps was a terrible choice. A-Rod has signed two 10 year deals and Cano just signed one himself, Those two received the long-term security that Drew wishes he could obtain.

Joe Manis
1 year 5 months ago

Does anybody know what Morlaes asking price is?

Derpy
1 year 5 months ago

Didn’t Drew allegedly turn down several multiyear deals from, among others, the Mets and Yankees? I seem to remember him demanding an opt out clause from the Mets. Maybe it really is Boras and Drew who messed up his off season, and not everyone else. Maybe they should be pointing the finger at themselves.

Federal League
1 year 5 months ago

Unless it’s been confirmed that he turned down deals, and unless we know the hard figures, it’s difficult to fault Drew.

Derpy
1 year 5 months ago

I’ve heard he was offered 2 years, 20 million from the Mets. Drew countered with an opt out clause after the first year, and the Mets left the negotiation table. 2 years at 20 million sound a lot better than 0 years at 0 million.

LazerTown
1 year 5 months ago

But $20MM/2 is pretty bad offer. Only 2 years of security, and $6M over the QO for a 2nd season, and they don’t want to give an opt out?

mikefichera
1 year 5 months ago

Its only a bad offer…if there is ANOTHER offer. There isn’t.

LazerTown
1 year 5 months ago

But he started with the $14M offer, and was riding under the assumption that he could do better. He had no reason to take that offer as stated, he should be able to do better.

mikefichera
1 year 5 months ago

Mets wanted Peralta at the start of the off-season, they thought he would be undervalued and better fit their system, unfortunately the Cardinals thought the same. The Mets don’t really like Drew. He isn’t what they need. They can get serviceable hitting and defense internal or trade, as almost any other major league team can.

Derpy
1 year 5 months ago

Asking for an opt out in a 2 year deal is just offensive. Asking for an easy to reach option is a negotiation, asking for an opt out is intentionally offending the organization. And considering the Mets are one of the very, very, very limiting landing spots for Drew, that probably wasn’t a great strategy.

Riaaaaaa
1 year 5 months ago

Joel Sherman confirmed it a while ago.

Colin Christopher
1 year 5 months ago

This “ferris wheel of multiple qualifying offers” that Boras speaks of sounds like the most terrifying ride on the planet. I can’t imagine the courage it must take to face down a 1-year, $14M contract every year.

Crucisnh
1 year 5 months ago

Players want the security of the longer term contract. If such a player gets severely injured while on one of these QO 1 yr deals, you can write off any chance of them getting a decent contract the next year.

Much as I’m no fan of the MLBPA, I think that they’d be nuts to agree to anything like the qualifying offer system in the next basic agreement with MLB. That is, anything that reduces a player’s chances of getting a decent contract. A mid-range player’s free agency value shouldn’t be affected by the presence of something like qualifying offer or turning down arbitration (like in the previous basic agreement). There’s something wrong when a player like Jarrod Saltelmacchia can get a deal without much trouble, but Stephen Drew is in contract limbo.

LazerTown
1 year 5 months ago

Depends how many players it actually affects. It is something for them to look for, but it really only affects a small number of free agents.

sunshipballoons
1 year 5 months ago

Okay, Colin– so you’d be down to take a job where there was a really high chance you’d have to move to a different city every year? Even if you had another option of taking a job where you could put down roots? What if you had kids?

Colin Christopher
1 year 4 months ago

If you’re taking the qualifying offer your team makes you every year, you’re not moving. And even if you had to move a few times in your career, that’s really not outside the norm of what the average American has to do in their career…except that you’re making more in one baseball season than most Americans make in their entire lives. So, yes, I’d be down to take that job.

sunshipballoons
1 year 4 months ago

If you could be assured that your team would make a qualifying offer every year, sure. But you have no idea what each year is going to bring. most people like job security, and the security to not have to move to another city. Most Americans do not have to move cities because of a job (though many choose to look for jobs in different cities).

Colin Christopher
1 year 2 days ago

If I knew my career was only going to last 8-10 years, and each year I was going to make $14 million dollars? Absolutely. These guys know the score when they accept a professional contract. They have the option of choosing a career with a more “stable” lifestyle if that’s what they want.

sunshipballoons
1 year 5 months ago

Okay, Colin– so you’d be down to take a job where there was a really high chance you’d have to move to a different city every year? Even if you had another option of taking a job where you could put down roots? What if you had kids?

michael T
1 year 5 months ago

Next year it will be 15 million. Enough money to live well the rest of your life.

Lefty_Orioles_Fan
Lefty_Orioles_Fan
1 year 5 months ago

Boras feels that the qualifying offer system has “basically prevented
them from free agency,” opining that the system has instead placed both
players “in jail.”

They put themselves in jail and it also prevented other teams for overpaying for either of them. I mean 14 million dollars is a lot of money to turn down!

rtwngr
1 year 5 months ago

The teams response to the rule doesn’t seem rational to me. The odds of any draft pick achieving the level Drew plays at are long. Drew is a known quantity, a season plus removed from serious injury, and still relatively young. I think it’s the draft pick plus dealing with Boras that’s holding him back. One or the other would be overcome but not both.

westcoastwhitesox
1 year 5 months ago

Well done, Steve Adams! Your first line about Cruz & Santana “…their free agent
markets were significantly weighed down by their rejection of qualifying
offers…” is refreshing. The angle most writers have been using so far is “…their free agent markets were significantly weighed down by draft pick compensation”.

The hot topic is of course the draft pick compensation, but the players had to reject the QO to get in this conversation we’re having now.

1 year 5 months ago

Your implicit charge of some hidden bias among “most MLBTR authors” is strange. For one thing, it is the draft compensation that is most immediately weighing down the player’s market. That, in turn, was caused by their decision to turn down the QO, which was in turn caused by some combination of their original team’s decision to offer them the QO, their good play on the field, and the decision of everyone to create the QO system.

For another, you (like many others) seem to misunderstand why this is something that is being talked about. It isn’t about players vs teams, and the overall balance between them. It is about whether a few specific players do (and, if so, should) bear a disproportionate burden under the system. (And, on the other side of things, how the system impacts competitive balance.)

I seriously do not understand the “greedy player” narrative here. If you had an opportunity (quite possibly, only once) to land a deal that gave you job security, let you set your personal priorities (home, family, etc), and the like, you’d probably not be keen on accepting whatever analogous qualifying offer you might get from your employer. And you would clearly be disappointed if, in turn, your decision not to accept that specific offer hampered your ability to land with another employer and situation.

EDIT

I see you edited to add the last sentence, so perhaps I took your comment too harshly. It is perfectly valid to raise the point that players have to turn down the offer, but I would disagree that I (or anyone else) have presented things in a way that ignores that. Fact is, these specific players are just dealing with the system, and whether or not their decisions were “correct” in some sense does not really change the debate over the merits of that system.

Ruben_Tomorrow
1 year 5 months ago

And what if they aren’t signed by June? Then what are they going to do? Turn into a pumpkin?

Metsfan93
1 year 5 months ago

not have draft pick compensation attached to them anymore?

1 year 5 months ago

“could hold out until after the June amateur draft to do so (after which the draft compensation will no longer apply)”

Jason
1 year 5 months ago

Quick question though, why would holding out until after the draft actually help them in any way? Waiting until June makes the FA miss 25-30ish % of the season, meaning that even if a team paid higher thanks to the lack of draft pick compensation and gave 20 million, a value I think neither Drew nor Morales is worth, the player only receives only around 14 million in the end. (Excuse me for that awful sentence, couldn’t quite make it more concise without losing what I wanted to say)

1 year 5 months ago

Yeah, I actually mentioned this in the post where Stringfellow and Boras were first quoted on the topic. I can see the strategy possibly making sense for a guy who thinks he’s going to get a longer deal and just needs to wait for it. Shorter the outlook, less it makes sense, b/c they are missing earning capacity.

Of course, someone made a great point — forget where, maybe comments in a fangraphs post — that at some point, a player may be better off waiting without playing rather than playing all year for a lesser rate. Say Cruz waits til mid-season to sign, when injuries, wear-and-tear, and down years can increase trade value. Isn’t it possible he still gets a deal that ultimately pays him $8MM (or close enough to it), but he only has to play half the year (thus avoiding risk of injury and decline)? Now, these guys are baseball players, and may really not want to do that — seemed that was the case for Santana — but it’s interesting nonetheless.

Jason
1 year 5 months ago

Doesn’t that seem a little short sighted for a player to wait though? Of course, the injury factor is a very good point that I hadn’t even thought of, but at the same time, say any of these FA could stay healthy for the year after signing before Opening day. Wouldn’t that be a dramatically more appealing FA for the 2015 offseason compared to a player who only played a part of the previous season?

1 year 5 months ago

Well, they could just wait until after Opening Day to avoid the possibility of a QO next year. If they waited all the way til after the June draft, they’d do both that and shed this year’s compensation.

I’d think that a half season or so of performance would be plenty to set themselves up for the market the next year. Look at Brian Wilson — landed a $19MM guarantee (less than Joe Nathan, but a better deal b/c he has a player option) after throwing less than 20 innings (postseason included). And he was a reliever coming back from a second TJ surgery!

Derpy
1 year 5 months ago

I am a team at the trade deadline. I am in the post season hunt, I am doing very well in the standings, I feel I am very competitive, and I have pieces to move to help my team win this year. But my shortstop isn’t there. I’m not happy. He rolled his ankle in April, missed two months, and hasn’t played well since he got off the DL.

I see a few guys on the trade block. I have pieces to get them. I see Drew is still a free agent, but he hasn’t played a game since October. I need to win NOW. Who do you think I’m going to pick?

1 year 5 months ago

I’m not advocating that these guys will make out better by using this strategy, just pointing out ways in which it could be viable. Ultimately, I think it’s a high-risk ploy, but then again so is waiting out the market in the first place.

On your points, though:

Will there really be an attractive trade target you can actually get? Maybe a guy like Hardy or Cabrera is made available, but are those two teams going to give up if they are within shouting distance of the postseason? Are you going to give up more in future talent than the draft pick those teams will get when they make those guys a QO? (And, if so, maybe you could have just signed Drew in the first place.)

Remember also, the draft is June 5-7, trade deadline is July 31. So there is some time in there for these guys to sign, get up to speed, and have impact sooner than most trade acquisitions can.

Derpy
1 year 5 months ago

How about a guy like Nick Franklin? I in no way think he will ever be a good defensive shortstop, I’m not even sure he is good at second, but he is available to the highest bidder unless Miller gets injured. As a former top 100 prospect who should certainly be able to hit at the major league level, and potentially hit very well, a reasonable price could make him a good catch for a team.

1 year 5 months ago

I think this is a situation where it might make sense for strategic/leverage reasons to put it out there strongly, though. I think Tim was the one who raised the point that there could be added impetus for the QO-offering team to re-sign a guy if they are serious about this strategy, since then they wouldn’t get their compensation pick. It could also just be a way to try to light a fire under the market and get something going.

Federal League
1 year 5 months ago

If you’re a team that has a protected pick, chances are your team is not one player away from improving. If you’ve got a pick in that next tier, chances are you feel like you can get a pretty good player in the draft and you aren’t going to be interested in forfeiting it for slightly above average players on the wrong side of 30.

So the market basically shrinks to teams with low picks who are willing to give them up, and if they don’t have a need at your position, you’re kind of out of luck. Elite level players aren’t affected because the odds of a team getting a better player for the future in the draft aren’t likely. Guys who were just good/bad enough to make their former team wary about committing a qualifying offer to them [like Saltalamacchia] actually end up in a better position.

Metsfan93
1 year 5 months ago

The one player away from improving might not matter if you’re close and sign them long, long-term, like if Houston had signed Ellsbury. All that matters is that they’ll still be pre-decline and able to produce when the other players materialize.

Federal League
1 year 5 months ago

I see what you’re saying, but judging from the dollar amount he ended up signing for, I don’t think Ellsbury is a good comp here.

stl_cards16
1 year 5 months ago

Why sign a big money player when you’re 3 years from contending? Wait until you are ready to contend and then sign free-agents to fill in the holes. The player will be further from decline so he can help for multiple seasons.

Metsfan93
1 year 5 months ago

Because that player you wanted for 2016 might not be available in 2016 but is available right now?