Recently, Joel Sherman of the New York Post talked to an NL GM who said he does not expect a robust market for rental players this summer. Under the previous collective bargaining agreement, players acquired in their contract years could still be more than rentals due to draft pick compensation. But due to a rule in the new CBA, a rental is truly a rental for the 2012 trade deadline: traded players are not eligible for draft pick compensation. As Sherman notes, that adds extra appeal for someone like Matt Garza — a team acquiring Garza can enjoy him for the rest of 2012 and all of 2013 and then receive a draft pick as compensation if he departs as a free agent.
Keep in mind that for a team to receive draft pick compensation for a departing free agent after the 2012 season, a qualifying offer in the $12.5MM range must be tendered. Since that amount represents an average of the top 125 salaries, it will increase every year. It could be dangerous to surrender quality prospects for Garza now partly due to the assumption that he'll be worthy of a $13-14MM qualifying offer after the 2013 season.
Still, take a look at our list of players who, like Garza, project to be eligible for free agency after the 2013 season. Which could be acquired with a partial eye on draft pick compensation after '13? Chase Utley has a good amount of no-trade protection, and given time missed due to injury and reduced production, it'd be optimistic to expect a qualifying offer. Hunter Pence, on the other hand, is a decent bet for such an offer. Among position players, Corey Hart also has a shot. Both outfielders figure to be part of their team's 2013 plans, however.
Aside from Garza, Josh Johnson is a starting pitcher to consider. Johnson has been uncharacteristically hittable this year, but he has been healthy and stands as a candidate for a qualifying offer after '13, should the Marlins decline to extend him again. Despite their all-in offseason, the Marlins appear a long shot for the playoffs, it is possible they could move Johnson for MLB-ready players. Jason Vargas has been a hot name on the trade market. While I think GMs would find it appealing to control Vargas for 2013, I doubt they would have any expectation of making him a qualifying offer afterward.
We haven't discussed Justin Upton types, players who are under control beyond 2013 and seem to be reasonable candidates for future draft pick compensation. Those are rare players. Looking only at trade targets eligible for free agency after 2013, the qualifying offer will be a pretty high bar, and future draft pick compensation can't be a primary consideration for an acquiring team.
Send Josh Johnson over to Chavez Ravine
I am a Marlins fan 1st of all before another here says anything..But..
Chances are JJ would get injured on the flight to LA..
You’re probably right but I think it’ll be worth the risk.
Players that I expect to get qualifying offers if they aren’t extended first:
Cole Hamels, Mike Napoli, Josh Hamilton, David Ortiz, Ryan Dempster, Zach Greinke, Edwin Jackson, Sean Marcum,
maybe Nick Swisher, maybe Carlos Lee, maybe Torii Hunter, maybe Carlos Quentin, possibly BJ Upton.
If I had to wager, I’d bet against most of the maybes above. There may be some that figure to get multi year deals who are sure to decline a one year offer, and a GM might take the calculated risk, but that’s pretty much the list of players that fit in the top 125 average.
Lee & Quentin can’t get qualifying offers because they were traded during the season
Idk why I said Quentin, my bad
First off, every team who is a World Series contender this year, already have an ace in place. They want to trade for a guy that is going to make them that much better down the stretch and in the playoffs. With that logic, if I am the GM of that team I would without a doubt trade for Ryan Dempster before any of the other three options since he would cost way less, and give you almost as much. He wouldn’t give you as much as Hamels or Grienke possibly would, but close enough where he is a much better option than giving up the entire farm for Hamels or Grienke.
Now secondly, Grienke is a stud #1 yet Garza is a decent #2 or great #3?? I beg to differ. Lets look at their stats since 2008, when they both started putting up their consistent numbers year in and year out.
Grienke: WHIP 1.21, ERA 3.44, SO/9 8.9, BB/9 2.3
Garza: WHIP 1.24, ERA 3.84, SO/9 7.7, BB/9 2.9
I think the numbers support that although Garza might not be Grienke, he is definitely better than a decent #2, he is a top #2, right below the top tier of pitchers. But to me, I would find it more likely that any team that trades for Garza, would be planning on signing him long term, assuming they already have an ace. I don’t see Garza getting Matt Cain money. I see him getting a 5 year deal for around 100 million dollars, which to me, is fair since it is right below the ace level contracts.
Garza has a 4.16 FIP (3.56 xFIP)
Greinke has a 2.55 FIP (2.80 xFIP) with a BABIP that’s due to come down some.
Garza is not a top #2. He is a #3 on a contending team. You could argue that he could be a meh #2 if he was in a park that was giving up fewer homers, because that seems to be Garza’s problem this year. However, Wrigley is actually right around the middle for home run factor this season, so he would have to go to a team that plays in a friendly pitcher’s haven to extract benefit. Aside from one standout year, (not coincidentally, the year he moved from the AL East to the NL Central) he has been very uninspiring.
Also, even though I think Dempster would be a nice get for a contending team if they can get him on the cheap, he is due for some serious regression. Through nearly 100 innings, he’s got a ridiculous .242 BABIP against, an 85% LOB and he’s giving up far, far fewer home runs than he normally does. This is not sustainable at all. I would be careful with him.
For a contender like the Rangers who have to go all in this year with Hamilton and Napoli possibly leaving in the offseason, I agree Dempster is to risky, it has be Cole or Grienke. But for a contender like the Angels, Dodgers and especially the Orioles, Dempster is worth the risk. Angels have a weak system as it is, Dodgers always need depth, and the Orioles obviously aren’t gonna trade away their future. Regarding Garza, that is a valid point, but I was never comparing Garza to Grienke. Grienke is a legit ace and Garza isn’t, I was trying to show that their numbers aren’t as far off as some make them seem. Also, as we have seen the past couple years, World Series Champions seem to have at least two legit aces in their rotation. Any World Series contender that trades for Garza isn’t looking for him to be their #2 starter. They are looking for him to be a #3 or #4 for them in the playoffs, which would give them the advantage over whoever they face. The Giants won in 2010 against the Rangers because Cain, Sanchez, and
Bumgarner pitched like #1 and #2 starters up against legit #3 and #4
starters for the Rangers. Which would be the idea with Garza. But even though Matt Cain has been the #2 starter for the Giants, everybody around baseball would agree that he is legit ace for any team. Matt Garza in most legit contenders rotations would be a #3 strictly because great teams seem to have at least two #1 starters unless you have the offense of the Rangers or Yankees. You are right that he might not be a top #2 but he is still not a #3. He is somewhere in-between a #2 and #3. There are 1a and 1b starters, well he is a 2b. I would put Garza ahead of a Shaun Marcum who I think is the definition of a legit #3, below Yovani Gallardo, who I think is a legit 2a and equal with Gio Gonzalez who I think is also a 2b.