The Padres benefited from the qualifying offer system this winter, writes Dennis Lin of the San Diego Union-Tribune. When Justin Upton and Ian Kennedy declined their qualifying offers, it earned the Friars the 25th and 26th picks in the next amateur draft. The experiences of players like Ian Desmond and Dexter Fowler have led many to expect sweeping changes in the next collective bargaining agreement. While visiting the Padres camp today, MLBPA chief Tony Clark cautioned that changes would be “wrapped in together” with revenue sharing, service time, the luxury tax, and other factors. As Clark explains, it’s not useful to look at items individually when the entire agreement should work in concert. Clark is also expected to visit the Indians today, tweets Paul Hoynes of Cleveland.com.
- The 2015-2016 offseason was the winter of the opt-out. Don’t count on the Blue Jays to join the trend, writes Ben Nicholson-Smith of Sportsnet.ca. Per team president Mark Shapiro said: “In some ways they’re just another form of a player option which I think are ridiculous. You’ll never see us do a player option.” Shapiro does allow that there are circumstances where an opt out can make sense. In other words, he’s not as firmly against them as player options. While an anti-opt out stance eliminates many top free agents, the Blue Jays typically play in the bargain end of the pool.
- The Athletics have accrued solid prospect depth, but GM Billy Beane doesn’t intend to trade them for short term upgrades, writes Joe Stiglich of CSN Bay Area. Players such as Matt Chapman, Franklin Barreto, and Sean Manaea may soon be cornerstones of the major league roster. While Beane dealt quality prospects for players like Jeff Samardzija, Jon Lester, and Ben Zobrist in recent seasons, the club is more focused on developing long term talent at the moment.