Last Monday, 12 players received one-year, $15.3MM qualifying offers. Max Scherzer, Victor Martinez, Hanley Ramirez, Pablo Sandoval, James Shields, Russell Martin, Nelson Cruz, David Robertson, Ervin Santana, Francisco Liriano, Melky Cabrera and Michael Cuddyer were all on the receiving end of the offer. The deadline to accept or reject the offer is today at 4pm CT.
A quick primer for those who are unfamiliar: Baseball’s newest collective bargaining agreement did away with the old Type A/B designations for free agent draft pick compensation. The newer system, which is now in its third year, allows teams to make qualifying offers to a player that has spent the entire season with that organization (i.e. players traded midseason are ineligible). That offer is set at the average salary of baseball’s 125 highest-paid players. Should the player reject, a new team will be required to forfeit its top unprotected pick to sign that player (the top 11 picks of this year’s draft are protected). His former team then receives a comp pick at the end of the first round. To this point, none of the 22 players to receive a QO have accepted.
The expectation is that most of the players who received the QO, with the possible exception of Cuddyer, will reject. We’ll keep track of the players that reject the QO here…
- Jim Bowden of ESPN and MLB Network Radio tweets that no player has accepted this year’s qualifying offer.
- MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes reports that Martinez has rejected the qualifying offer (Twitter link).
- Robertson has turned down the Yankees’ qualifying offer, reports Jack Curry of the YES Network (Twitter link).
- Cuddyer, of course, has essentially rejected his qualifying offer by agreeing to a two-year deal with the Mets.
- Ramirez has rejected the Dodgers’ QO, Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times tweets. As perhaps the top position player on this year’s open market, the move comes as little surprise. Ramirez figures to seek a contract north of $100MM+ as a free agent.
- Santana will reject the Braves’ qualifying offer and search for a multi-year deal on the open market, tweets Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. The move was widely expected after Santana enjoyed a solid season with the Braves. As he showed last winter, even if the market doesn’t materialize for him in the form of a multi-year deal, a one-year offer at or near the value of a QO is still attainable, so there’s little downside in trying to cash in.
- Both Sandoval and Martin have reportedly rejected their QOs prior to today’s deadline. Sandoval rejected his in the middle of last week, while news of Martin rejecting came last night.
Robertson, Liriano and Cuddyer are the 3 I’m interested in hearing about. All 3 need to think long and hard about accepting the QO.
Santana should have but I see he rejected it. Here’s hoping he makes less than $15.3 million on a 1 year deal
Why should we be actively rooting against players to get paid at their market value?
Ervin rejected last year and in a worst-case scenario got a contract equal to the QO in March. And that was after he had similar offers from Toronto and Baltimore, and a three-year offer from the Twins in that same timeframe. There’s no point to him accepting if he can get north of $10MM even in February or March.
“Why should we be actively rooting against players to get paid at their market value?”
Cause I figured he would have learned his lesson after last year when there wasn’t a whole lot of great SP on the market. This year the SP free agent has better pitchers than him.
Nothing personal against him of course. I truthfully hope the same happens to Cuddyer if he rejects it.
Yes, same here. He did the same exact thing last year, and ended up being at the right place at the right time with the Braves starters injuries during spring training. Otherwise, he would have been like Nelson Cruz and have to sign a deal far less than the QO.
One would hope that he learned from his lesson. BUT, then again this is another offseason and the needs for teams are different.
He was originally going to sign with the blue jays for the exact same deal. Then Atlanta’s rotation went down, offered the same deal and he went there. he also had an offer from Baltimore for 1MM less. I wouldn’t qualify that as lucky.
Forgot about the Jays being in the mix for Santana around the same time.
Santana is not directly competing with the top shelf pitchers, he is competing with the middle of the rotation types that are affordable to most teams. Last year the market was flush with these types with pitchers like Nolasco, Hughes, Arroyo, Vargas, Garza, Jimenez, Hudson, Burnett and Haren. All but Ubaldo did not have a draft pick attached to them. Santana will likely have more teams interested with less second tier options available.
“Santana is not directly competing with the top shelf pitchers, he is
competing with the middle of the rotation types that are affordable to
None of whom, except Liriano, has a draft pick attached. Again, don’t be surprised if he signs for less. Last year he didn’t get what he wanted with a thin market for SP. This year, it’s a bigger market for SP, and there are some decent choices of pitchers who don’t have a QO attached (Kuroda & Burnett if they don’t retire, McCarthy, etc.
Again, last year was a thin market for top of the rotation types but strong in mid rotation types. This year is the exact opposite, as it is top heavy(something we may not agree on), with only a few options for small and mid-market teams. Kuroda and Burnett aren’t likely to be available to most tasks if it all and were available last year. I’d say don’t be surprised if Santana lands a multi-year deal, my guess is the Twins, which Steve mentioned was offered last year.
“Why should we be actively rooting against players to get paid at their market value?”
Because a player’s market value is normally far greater than his actually performance value. As a fan of a team, not a player, I want my team to get the maximum value out of their signing which means rooting against players receiving their market value.
Him accepting the QO and entering next year’s much weaker FA market will actually net him more money than if he tries to get a multi-year deal this year.
Also the Braves may not risk it a second time
…or he gets hurt and misses out in a potential multi-year deal while losing millions in the process. I think a three-year deal is there for him this time.
Many said that the last time. And he had a much better 2013 than 2014.
Not sure about “much better”. His FIP/xFIP actually was better in 2014: 3.47 to 3.69. Plus he’s now had back-to-back solid seasons after a brutal 2012, so that probably gives GMs a higher comfort level.
Also had a higher WHIP, allowed more hits in less IP than 2013, and his ERA+ went from 127 down to 92. All in a much more friendly league and division with only 1 good team.
As long as he doesn’t ask for the moon this time around. I think he can get a decent contract but if he goes around asking for a 100 million contact again he might end up in the same situation again.
Robertson is iffy, he can get a solid deal still but if he wants to raise the salary levels for relievers then he should take it. But if he doesn’t have a solid campaign or gets injured then that could ruin his chances of getting a multi year deal next season. I’m sure the Yankees will work out a contract with him if a strong market doesn’t develop for him. But if a team like Detroit or the Dodgers surrender a pick and sign a big name then I could see them giving up a later pick for him. Like we saw with the Yankees last year, once you give up your top pick you might as well keep going.
Why would he care if he’d raise the salary levels for relievers? He’s going to try to get as much money as he can get.
Because it would benefit him the future. I’m quite sure if he signs a deal this offseason it won’t be his last.
I’d have to believe Liriano either accepts the QO or declines and tries to negotiate a few-year contract to stay in Pittsburgh. He’s get a good thing going for him right now, and he’s set to double his previous-best AAV (or come close) regardless of which route he choses.
well, let’s hope someone who did terrible takes on Santana, because braves need a high pick.
That no longer matters with the latest CBA. The Braves only get a comp pick between round 1 and round 2 regardless of who takes him.
Thanks for pointing that out. That’s an improvement over the last system.
That’s not how it works anymore. They’d get the same sandwich pick regardless of who signed him.
Why hasn’t Cuddyer accepted the most overpaid 1 year contract offer he’ll ever get yet?
yeah, If I wanted a overrated RF that can’t field, I’ll just trade for Jose Batista.
Not sure who this Jose Batista guy is but If I want a 4+ WAR player, who hits 30+ HR’s, shows good plate discipline and makes less than 20 MM a year I’ll take Jose Bautista.
in a HR friendly park. If he did it in San Diego I’d be amazed.
RHB’s have always had trouble hitting on the West Coast, there’s tons of articles confirming this from Torrie Hunter, Mark Trumbo, Adrian Beltre and the list goes on.
The West Coast has always been death for RHB’s that pull the ball.
Torri Hunter and Mark Trumbo hit really well for the west coast Angels…. Try that argument again using Adrian Beltre, Carlos Quintin and Josh Hamilton
They said themselves in words, ” Pulling the ball is really hard on the West Coast”. They were interviewed when someone published that Pujols “decline” might’ve had to do with going to the West Coast.
Josh Hamilton hits right handed?
His UZR/150 has been positive over the last 3 years in RF and he’s had 3 seasons with over 6.0WAR+ since 2010. Overrated at what? Providing a ton of walks and homers?
His slashline since 2010 is: .272AVG/.393OBP/.559SLG/.952OPS with 187 home runs and 468RBIS. He’s also ahead of every single ballplayer in home runs since 2010 including Miguel Cabrera.
Bautista has a cannon for an arm at right
Cool story bro
For an overpaid 2-year FA contract that he’ll get
The Met’s are desperate. A 36 year old injury prone player who’s been average over the combined 2012-2014 Away sample size , doesn’t deserve a guaranteed 2 year deal. It’s pretty much why he jumped at the thought of being horrible this year and being able to make money in 2016.
Do players who accept the qualifying offer have the standard free agent trade moratorium, or can they be dealt without their consent prior to June?
They can’t be traded until June.
If Cuddyer knocks his QO back ill be absolutely astounded, but the fact he’s leaving the decision until the very last minute makes you think he must, crazily, bizarrely, be considering it…
His agent is probably furiously working the phones to see whether a two-year $22 million+ type deal is out there. If he’s not VERY comfortable that’s the case, I’m sure he’ll accept.
You would have to think so.
Its hard to see a two year market for Cuddyer with his age and injury history, so it could be well be a case of his agent just making sure thats the case at the GM Meetings, realising its not happening, phoning his client and saying “just take that crazy offer those crazy Rockies put in front of you Michael”.
How will you feel when he signs with the Mets? Seriously i don’t know what to say….
Is superastoundedflabbergasted enough to cover it?
Yeah, rather surprised you could say.
The only explanation that I can think of is that they plan to be a player for some of the pitchers that received QO’s. They’re pretty set at the corner IF & OF positions, there’s no one on that list who can play center field and it’s hard to imagine that they see Ramirez as an answer to their problem at shortstop. I suppose that Martin might be on their radar but that too seems unlikely.
So the only thing that really makes sense then- to me at least- is that they plan on making a run at one or more of the pitchers since they’ve already taken the big hit on their first round pick.
I get the feeling Liriano will accept..or they will announce a contract extension before the deadline…maybe 2 years 27 million with realistic options to make it 3/40
Despite the Cuddyer signing I still think Robertson and Liriano will regret turning down the QO.
Being the top RP out there on the market, Robertson should easily find a good deal. Yes, teams don’t necessarily pay for saves anymore, but Robertson’s numbers the past few years speak for themselves
At this point, the only way they significantly regret is if they end up taking a huge pay cut from $15.3MM on a one-year deal. Can’t see that happening in either case.
You think someone will make Robertson the most highly paid reliever on a 1 year deal in MLB history even if his market doesn’t develop?
I understand that argument when it comes to a SP like Santana but I really don’t think the same is true for Robertson. Plenty of MLB starters get 10MM+ a year, the same can’t be said for relievers.
No, I said I can’t see him taking a huge pay cut from $15.3MM.
Even if he doesn’t find a big four-year deal, three will be there at a reasonable AAV. That’d be a disappointment, in my book, but I firmly believe he’ll have offers well north of a $15MM guarantee on multi-year deals. My comment was saying that the only way he regrets is if he takes 1/10 or something, and I can’t see it coming to that in any scenario.
I’m still expecting a very significant four-year contract though.
Would you see 3/30 as a victory for Robertson? That is about where I draw the line, when AAV is reduced by over 30% and total guaranty does not exceed 200% I call it a loss for the player.
I hear you, but that’s still an additional $15 million guaranteed, and with pitchers being as fragile as they are, hard to call that a big loss for Robertson.
He’s taking a paycut in exchange for security. It comes down to preference.
3/30 would be a disappointment, as I alluded to above, but it’s still better than 1/15.3. And again, I think the chances of Robertson settling for 3/30 are slim to none. I’m still confident in four years, and if he did for some reason have to take three, I’d think it north of $30MM total. I guess we’ll see in a couple months, but I’d bet on lots of teams being in on him at 3/30. Even ones who don’t obviously need bullpen help. $30MM just isn’t that much money in today’s market.
i agree on both, but it’s not out of the question that robertson won’t re-sign with the Yankees. I don’t think they are going to offer a Papelbon-like contract. And, with the rejection of the QO, he just became a scarce asset for them–a draft pick
Seriously. A reliever getting more than 10 million is astounding.
Robertson, imo, isnt worth more than that.
Is “Ralph” still a credible source?
They should just do away with the qualifying offer. Players who reject it get hurt and it costs teams signing these guys a pick.
The Qualifying Offer system is terrible.
I agree, why do players have to take a hit for rejecting an offer when they know they can get more than that.
It’s a terrible system; it’s a regressive tax designed to drive salaries down. The players hate it and will try to get it out of the next CBA. We shall see. It’s a huge boon for the owners.
it is much better than the previous system. there should be something in place to help teams retain their talent and this system limits offers to better players rather than the old system that let teams hold weaker players hostage.
Cuddyer, Robertson, Santana and Liriano will all make less than the AAV offered through the QO. None will sign deals longer than 3 years IMO.
It’s not always about AAV. Players want guaranteed money.
I think you mean total value. MLB contracts are normally guaranteed
For the most part, though many players have incentives in their contracts. I figured it was implied that they(generally) want the most guaranteed dollars or total value however you want to phrase it.
Does that matter though? Faced with 1/15 or 3/40 (our Liriano projection) or 4/56 (Santana projection), what player wouldn’t take the long-term security?
AAV means very, very little on a one-year deal for a player between ages 30 and 31.