The qualifying offer continues to be an interesting topic of conversation and study around the game. It’s clear that it impacts free agent situations, but precisely how and how much remains somewhat difficult to nail down in practice. Next year’s QO will rise to approximately $15.7MM to $16MM, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney tweets, providing another, increasingly-high-stakes opportunity to observe how teams approach the rule.
Here are a few stray notes to finish out the evening:
- The Yankees have already made use of a significant number of relief arms, often by shuttling players with options, and figure to do even more of that when rosters expand next month, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes. That strategy may explain in part why the team ultimately chose not to add a starter at the deadline, preferring instead to rely on its depth to reduce the burden and reliance on its starters.
- The Athletics front office is geared up for the future, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle writes. While GM Billy Beane says he is “always trying to get better in the short term,” he acknowledged that the club’s trade deadline strategy focused on cashing in expiring veteran contracts for “younger players with more of an upside .. as more of a long-term approach.” Having adopted that approach, Beane says that the team likely will not “use prospects for acquisitions” this winter.
- Notably, the Athletics’ key non-playing figures all seem likely not only to stay on, but to advance their careers. Per Slusser, manager Bob Melvin is likely to receive a multi-year extension at season’s end, while she labels it a “strong bet” that Beane will move up to a president position while handing over the GM title to David Forst.
- The presence of multiple teams still in contention could slow the August trade market, Cubs GM Jed Hoyer tells Gordon Wittenmyer of the Chicago Sun-Times. “There’ll definitely be deals,” he said. “Whether those will be big deals or not, I would probably say no, simply because I do think people are pretty active on the waiver wire and there’ll be quite a bit of blocking.” Hoyer added that Chicago had already been awarded several waiver claims, though obviously it has not actually acquired any of those players.
By my (somewhat lenient) opinion, we could have 16 players get 100M+ deals this offseason with about 10 of them getting QO. Its gonna be a crazy off season.
Kendrick, Desmond, Cespedes, Gordon, Upton, Heyward, Cueto, Gallardo, Greinke, Kazmir, Samardzija, Price and Zimmermann all as locks to get that 100M tag.
From there, throw in the possibility, no matter how large/small that possibility is, of Span, Fister, Latos, Leake, Anderson, Parra and Wieters all having a shot.
Kendrick? Desmond? Gallardo? Samardzija? Locks for 100m? I don’t think so. Doubt any of those throw in possibilities get the 100m tag.
See my response below to Kendrick, Desmond and Gallardo and Shark below.
I don’t think very many, if any at all of the possibilities will top 100M, but I’ve said some guys wouldn’t reach a number before, and they ended up shattering it. (Choo, EJax, Howard, Hamiliton, Fielder, etc)
Leake might. Porcello got 82M, is the same age, and doesn’t have quite the track record that Leake does. Latos is having a good season too and will only be 28.
Porcello and leake have similar track records except you could argue porcello looked like he was taking the next step. You arent taking in to account the a.l is a tougher enviroment pitch in than the n.l. latos isnt having a good season. He had 1 good month. I dont know what teams you think are going to be ponying up all this money.
Samardzija aint getting more then 80mil. Hes unproven. He should retire and help the bears
Guarantee shark gets 100 mill.. 5 yr 100, or 6 yr 115 to 120.. Easily.. A nl team will sign him and he’ll be ace like or a very solid #2.. He’s the type a player maybe the giants, or if he stays in the AL then the Orioles will be glad to get a pitcher with ace potential for 20 mill a year..
Kazmir is more of a 3 for 50, Kendrick maybe 3 for 45, Gordon 3 for 50, hard one is weiters, I’m thinking a 5 for 80
You trolling? Desmond, kendrick, gallardo and kazmir have no shot at 100 mil. I doubt cespedes, zimmerman or gordon get 100 mil as well. Cueto, greinke and price are locks and heyward and shark are coinflips.
I don’t think you understand how the market has inflated.
If Shields is worth 77M guaranteed coming off a 3.21 ERA and a 3.59 FIP season, I’d say yeah, Kazmir (2.08 ERA, 3.16 FIP), whos a year younger than Shields was when he got his deal can top that deal by a decent amount.
Gallardo is putting up Jon Lesters’ career marks right now, so yeah, I think he can get 40M less than Lester.
Desmond, well, I hadnt looked at his numbers from this year, but I think a 29 year old shortstop that has had 3 straight 3 WAR seasons coming into this year can get 100M. Hanley Ramirez got 88m over 4 years, why can’t Desmond get 100M over 6?
Howie Kendrick has been worth 22.3 WAR over the last 7 seasons.
Choo, who plays a much less demanding position, has been worth 21.3 WAR over that same time, and was the same age as Kendrick will be (32) when he hits FA. Kendrick should top 100M rather easily.
Cespedes has been worth 3.9 WAR or more in 3 of his 4 seasons in the Bigs, has a rare feat (power) and is putting up J.Upton type numbers this year. I think he’ll top it pretty easily.
Really, you don’t think Jordan Zimmermann is going to get 100M? The guy has been one of the best in the business the last 5 seasons, over that span, 3.08 ERA, 3.22 ERA, 124 ERA+, 1.7 BB/9, averaging 3.6 WAR per season and he doesn’t turn 30 until the beginning of next season. He’ll top 100m with easeeee.
Gordon is a sabermetric king, hes the best LF in baseball defensively, and has pop. Over the last 5 years, he averaged almost 5.5 WAR per season. The only reason he wouldn’t break 100M is if he took a pay cut to stay with KC.
Heyward will top 100M pretty easily. 6+ WAR potential, hes done it multiple times, the best defensive RF in the game, with pop potential and he’ll get a super long term deal because hes only going to be 26.
Shark I meant to have in the ‘maybes.’
Kazmirs imjury concerns limit him to a 3 or 4 year deal. Gallardo is striking out 5.9/9 so he cant be an ace therefore wont be paid like one. Coming off his worst year desmond has no chance. Zimmerman has had tj and his velocity is down. Doesnt k too many. Remember these contracts are for future performance not past.
Defense declines before bat. Gordon is getting up there in age. I see 5/100 his max deal. Kendrick is 32 next year and not a power bat hes not getting 100 mil. 4/60 is prolly his max. With heyward it all depends. I think he will get 100 mil but i wouldnt want to be the team that does it.
You need to decide what determines a player to be worth $100m.. With Kazmir and Gallardo you are basing their $100m value strictly on what they have done this year.. Others on what they have done the last few years and finally some on what they have done strictly in the past.. In order for all of these players to get $100m contracts there has to be teams willing to hand them out.. The Dodgers will hand one or 2 out.. The Angels might get 1.. The Yankees should get 1. Boston and the Cubs will go for an ace.. I agree with you on Zimmerman topping $100m with ease.. Although he is not Lester he should still end up with a similar contract around 6/$130m-$150m. Kendrick is worth around $15m a season which will take a 7 year deal to get him to $100m. I find it very doubtful any team signs him through his age 39 season.. He will end up around 4/$60m.. Gallardo is not the power pitcher he once was.. He is a solid #3 now and will get a Garza/McCarthy type contract 4/$50m with an option.. Kazmir is a solid #2 and has put up great numbers but he is 32 and has an extensive injury history.. He will land something like Ervin Santana’s 4/$54m with an option.. Cespedes has had a monster year this year but his OBP has been lacking in the past.. Look for him to approach $100m with something similar to Sandoval’s 5/$90m.. Gordon may be a sabermetric king but he will be 33 next year.. He will probably break $20m AAV if he leaves the Royals but I doubt he will, 4/$65m or 5/$75m to stay with the Royals.. Heyward is Heyward and will probably land something like 8/$120m.. Desmond shot himself in the foot this year.. He could be the first player that accepts a QO if he is actually offered one this year.. Washington might not want to risk him accepting and therefor they might just cut him loose.. Turner should be ready next year.. Without a QO Desmond might get a 3/$36m offer based on his past performance.. But he has been pretty terrible this year and might just want to sign a one year deal to rebuild his value.. Now you can cite Choo’s or Ramirez’s contracts but Choo especially has been called a bad contract pretty much from the day he signed it.. Do you think Boston would sign Porcello to the same extension had they know how he would pitch this year? His contract was so large because of his age and what he accomplished this year.. I doubt he would come close to a AAV of $15m had he waited for free agency.. Just because one team made a big mistake doesn’t mean the rest of baseball is going to line up to follow suit.. Samardzija is probably the one that will break $100m. He is going to be targeted by some big market teams like the Yankees and Red Sox.. He has TOR potential and will have less than 1000 innings on his arm when next season rolls around.. Look for him to get a contract similar to Zimmerman’s..
Vandals Took The Handles
“Desmond shot himself in the foot this year.. He could be the first player that accepts a QO if he is actually offered one this year.. Washington might not want to risk him accepting and therefor they might just cut him loose.. Turner should be ready next year.”
Good point. Desmonds’ defense has been killing the Nationals all year (and for parts of the previous 2 years). I see no way they give him a $16M QO unless they’re sure he’ll turn it down. They’d probably prefer to phase in Turner. Going into the off-season I’d guess they’re looking at putting Escobar at SS, moving Rendon back to his natural position at 3B , and playing Danny Espinosa at 2B. The Nats may look for a utility guy during to offseason to add to that – one that can play some OF as well. Probably make a run for Zobriest.
I think they go with Turner next year. Desmond could have signed for 100 million, what a downer!
I’d rather have Gallardo at half the money of Samardzija if you’re predictions are accurate.
When does the market bubble burst though? Obviously Shields isn’t worth the contract he’s given….
Player salaries will continue to rise as long as TV money continues to flood the market. As of now, there is no end in sight to the growing TV money, so expect another crazy offseason.
shields was never injured and averages over 200 innings per year in his career. kazmir has thrown 200 once. it’s the worst comp you can possibly make.
kendrick has average power at best… you are paying for his age 32-36 seasons and hitters age worse than pitchers. zimmerman is the 4th best pitcher on the market, the only one of those with a q.o attached. its close but he will only get 100 mil if he takes a 6 year deal. and you look at war as if teams use baseball reference to evaluate a contract proposal. yes alex gordon has been amazing. but you are paying for the years in which he deteriorates. heyward hasnt shown much of this pop potential the last 3 years but yes he will most likely get 100 mil, just dont be surprised if he takes a 1 year deal to increase his value.
Not going to sit here and pick this apart entirely because I’m not an “expert”, but I don’t see how Desmond could possibly be considered a lock for that kind of money with the year he’s had, even with a decent track record, this year has been outright scary. He seems like a candidate to sign a 1/2 year, high AAV “show me” deal to rebuild value if he wants to pull in the big dollars like that long term. I think Kazmir’s health concerns will also hinder his earning power a bit, unless there’s a team that very particularly wants him and is willing to blow others away for him, like LA did with McCarthy(though Kazmir is definitely the better of the two, albeit a year older in his walk year, and should easily pull in that type of deal with more money involved). I also have to question putting that kind of money out there for Gallardo, he may be putting up Lester career marks, but Lester put up way, way better numbers on his contract year than Gallardo is looking to in his own contract year, both in peripherals and ERA. Other than that, I could see a case being made for the other guys you consider locks.
Only Price, Cueto, and Greinke are worth 100 million, but as we know pitching is outlier. The rest have had bad years or just don’t seem to have the ability to make a big difference in a team. One thing for sure many of these players will get QA. They are worth the short term expense. There is a lot of TV money out there for teams to spend.
Salary doesn’t = value or worth. At all. I’d say the original list probably comes close, defending on how many Cuban, Korean and Japanese players defect to MLB.
Out of that list I wouldn’t be surprised to see Cespedes, Gordon, Upton, Heyward, Cueto, Gallardo, Greinke, Samardzija, Price and Zimmermann getting $100+M. Kazmir is a push right now, how he finishes the year and how does in the playoffs could spurn him onto the list. Price obviously, and then Heyward could push $200M and a 10 year deal as he’s only 25 right now. Greinke is going to try and get $30+M annually over 5+ years.
Vandals Took The Handles
I think an interesting dynamic will come into play soon, and maybe in time for some as soon as this off-season……
The Royals changed the thinking with a lot of team owners and GM’s. They did not understand that the team was good. Very good. They figured that the Royals just got “hot” and “lucky” in 2014. That brought on the “just get in the payoffs and anything can happen” mindset. So a lot of teams upped their payroll some and are going for it. That’s fine. But the next step is when the owners and GM’s look at the obscene long-term contracts they and others have given out because a player had a good year or two, and realize how those can paralyze their franchises for years if a player gets injured or reverts to being a so-so player, eating up 15-25% of their payroll for years. Maybe the Dodgers can continue their spending spree, but even the Yankees and Red Sox are cutting back some.
I think giving many of the 10 on the list above a 3-4 year contract at a $17-25M AAV is generous, though at least half of those will turn into bad contracts. But giving that AAV and even more in 6-8 year contracts is something I think many owners and GM’s are going to realize is too risky. MLB front offices should have figures illustrating how contracts 5 years and longer work out. It seems at least some owners / GM’s will realize that the possibility of hurting and sometimes paralyzing a franchise for years because they think one player can get them a wild card spot in 2016 is not the way to go. Sure, some of the big market teams will be gushing over Price and Greinke, but most teams will be far better off trading a few prospects at next years deadline to get a rental if they think one guy will put them over the top.
I agree, but as long as the market is set by the top end like a Price..the other pitchers of lesser ability will demand their fraction of those players money. Baseball can’t scream poverty…and the second that teams do get smart and alter spending on free agents… The MLBPA will start screaming about collusion. They will want their labor getting that chunk of the massive revenue. You and I both know that the guys that often deserve it are the players under control….so teams kind of balance the expense out. KC gets these core young players on the cheap…but end up paying for the vets they bring in.
Maybe some day we’ll see salary attached to actual contribution. But there again…not all of a players contribution to revenue can be attached to something like WAR. Give me two exact players and call one Tim Lincecum…. If I’m SF I want Lincecum because I can market him.
MLB has never screamed poverty – the media has – and for zero reason other than silly click-bait, and I do agree that all awards and salaries should be performance related not market related, but what sport does that?
Where were you Cron when Selig pleaded the case for contracting the Twins and Expos? Of course they did in the 90’s…they used that argument to fund these tax payer built ballparks they make billions on now. Let’s see them try and get a taxpayer built park done now.
I don’t know what sport does that….perhaps football without the completely guaranteed contracts.
People have been saying the same things for years, but it always goes up. We watch free agent contracts grow every year and act surprised. Baseball has more money than ever and teams will continue to spend on players. Especially with the spending limits on the draft and international markets. It’s just like how prospects are so valued right now and there is no way teams will part with them for high priced vets or rentals, yet Hamels took 3 top 75 prospects and Price cost the Jays a top 25 prospect for two months.
the difference between a top 75 guy and a top 10 prospect is huge though.
Vandals Took The Handles
“People have been saying the same things for years, but it always goes up. ”
I pointed that out 40 years ago.
But the point of my post is that the top of he line money with th 6-8 year contracts is going to dry up, as only a handful of teams will play along. I think most will agree ti a higher end AAV for a 3-4 year contract. Above that the team might as well back down.
I agree that it does sound logical when talking about actual, on-field results to cut back on mega-deals, but we are still at least a decade away from getting all 30 teams on the same page with that. Fans love it, MLB makes so much money it doesn’t even cost teams much to do it, and then there’s the tv deals that allow teams to run at on-field/ticket losses because payroll simply doesn’t matter when you have a billion dollar tv deal, as we’ve seen with the Yankees and Red Sox and now Dodgers over the last 15 years.
The smarter teams, like the Athletics, Rays, Giants and Royals will keep on investing in the cost-controlled farm pieces over the free agents but even then, Billy Butler got $30M and is largely worthless as a big league hitter these days and even if the A’s ate his salary, it wouldn’t hurt their bottom line too badly. These are not “moneyball” times anymore – every team is loaded and either making a profit on field or off tv deals and even though the thought behind it still ends up in a winning formula, as the A’s proved by making the playoffs 8 times since 2000.
Vandals Took The Handles
Nice post. You can add the Pirates to that list of teams to start.
I can’t see anyone giving Kazmir $100MM. He’s been excellent this year, but he’s also been well above his FIP and has been dependent on a somewhat flukey BABIP (.252 vs. career of .300).
But then there’s the fact that this season is his only season that he’s been well above average since 2008. His ERA+ since 2008:
2008 – 127
2009 – 89
2010 – 67
2011 – missed season
2012 – missed season
2013 – 94
2014 – 105
2015 – 189
Obviously, there’s a lot more that goes into it that ERA+, but unless someone is willing to give him $25MM AAV (and four years), I can’t see it. I haven’t really even mentioned the injury concerns, either. But then again, Rick Porcello got $82MM over four years, so who knows? I’d rather have Kazmir at 4/100 versus Porcello at 4/82.
It’s true that Kazmir has been outperforming his FIP this year, but the last couple of years his FIP outperformed his ERA. His FIP- the last three years has been 89, 90 and 81. He has been good, but I agree that his past injury history will limit him somewhat. The problem as you mentioned is that the Red Sox blew up the market by giving Porcello basically a 5/$95mm including his arb contract. A rising tide raises all ships and that contract will be a big factor brought up by all agents in free agent and arbitration negotiations moving forward.
porcello has almost never been injured, was praised as a top prospect before he came up and looked like he turned a corner as he is approaching his peak. his contract isn’t that crazy as he starts next year at age 27. so paying his age 27-31 seasons isn’t the same as paying kazmir for say his age 32-36 seasons.
You are still talking about how performance = salary, and that is not true in any way, shape or form.
it does, you pay for projected performance. sometimes teams are wrong, doesn’t mean they aren’t paying for expected performance. padres and shields being the one real outlier.
the more concerning part of kazmir to teams is his injury history and the fact that he has only thrown over 160 innings twice in his 10 year career. i can’t recall a big long term deal to a guy with as much of an injury history as him.
while Kazmir’s value won’t be decreased by a QO now I can’t see him getting 100m. if he does im quite sure that GM will be fired for sure within the length of the contract. if Kazmir was the kazmir of 05-09 sure, not problem paying him 100m. he missed 2011 and 2012 and signs a contract with the A’s and puts up numbers in a pitchers park and you want to hand him 100m? I’d be very concerned with giving him 4-5 years.
Cashman has done a great job of putting this team together, shuttling pitchers back and forth this year was genius. Pitchers like Mitchell and Pinder look to have the stuff to stick in the bigs in the future. Seems as though there is a high amount of pitchers throwing in the high 90s this year.
Who did the cubs claimed?if anyone good offer a package of Castro and his entire remaining contract. Everyone in Chicago wants him out.