No free agent has ever accepted a qualifying offer, and if all 20 of this winter’s QO players reject their offers as well, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal figures it may inspire changes to the free agent process in the next collective bargaining agreement. (The current CBA expires on December 1, 2016.) The large number of QOs in play, Rosenthal reasons, might actually make some teams with their own qualifying offer players less hesitant to give up draft picks to sign such free agents. The Royals, for instance, would only drop a few spots in the draft order if they gave up their 27th overall pick to sign a QO free agent and then let Alex Gordon leave, thus netting them a supplemental first-rounder back. Here’s some more from around baseball…
- The Yankees generally haven’t made recent free agent splashes unless they had money coming off the books and could recoup surrendered draft picks via their own departing free agents, so Joel Sherman of the New York Post wonders if the Bombers could be fairly quiet this winter, especially when it comes to qualifying offer players. While the draft pick compensation is certainly a concern, I’m not sure the payroll is necessarily an obstacle. As I noted in my Yankees Offseason Outlook piece, the club could sign a major free agent to a backloaded deal, as Carlos Beltran, Mark Teixeira, Alex Rodriguez and C.C. Sabathia will all have their contracts end within the next two years.
- The Orioles have been very active in the Rule 5 draft in recent years, though MASNsports.com’s Roch Kubatko notes that the club may not be able to pick a reliever this year due to Dylan Bundy’s situation. The former top prospect is out of options and recovering from a spate of injuries, so the O’s could ease Bundy back in via a bullpen role. It would therefore be difficult for the club to manage with two pen spots filled with a rehab project and a raw minor league talent.
- New Padres manager Andy Green is profiled by MLB.com’s Corey Brock, detailing Green’s playing career in the Majors and Japan, his move into coaching and his funny negotiation with then-Diamondbacks executive Mike Rizzo after being drafted in 2000.
- Mets fans often clamor for their team to be bigger players in free agency, though Mike Puma of the New York Post notes that the club hasn’t had much success on the open market under Sandy Alderson’s tenure.
- Also from Puma’s piece, he writes that the Mets could be open to re-signing Bartolo Colon if the veteran is willing to pitch as a swingman, and if the team is able to deal Jon Niese to create rotation space.
- ESPN’s Keith Law (Insider-only link) provides his ranking of the offseason’s top 50 free agents, complete with contract valuations based on what Law would feel comfortable giving each player, not what they’ll actually receive in the open market. For instance, Law would only offer Yoenis Cespedes a three-year, $60MM contract due to concerns about his on-base skills and a desire to avoid Cespedes’ decline years — MLBTR’s Tim Dierkes’ Top 50 Free Agents list, which predicts real-world contract values, has Cespedes receiving over twice Law’s number at six years and $140MM.