The Cardinals won’t be extending a qualifying offer to first baseman/outfielder Brandon Moss, reports ESPN’s Mark Saxon. Notably, Saxon adds that the lack of a QO “effectively [ends]” Moss’ tenure with the Cardinals, seemingly indicating that the team isn’t currently planning on making a run at re-signing him.
The 33-year-old Moss at one point looked to be a borderline candidate to receive a QO, but his production tanked in September, as he finished the year in a dreadful 10-for-106 free fall. Prior to that awful stretch, Moss was sporting a hefty .277/.344/.586 line on the year and had crushed 25 homers in just 346 trips to the plate. That tremendous show of power prompted MLBTR’s Jeff Todd to call it an “open question” as to whether Moss would receive the QO back in early September.
While it indeed seemed possible at that juncture, Moss will now enter the open market with a cumulative .225/.300/.484 slash line to show for his 2016 efforts. While that still represents a productive overall season, particularly in the power department, it does seem fair to suggest that Moss’ late cold spell has potentially cost him tens of millions of dollars. It’s not much of a silver lining, but the September swoon will at least allow Moss to enter the open market unencumbered by draft pick compensation.
Moss will be one of a number of left-handed hitting first base/DH types on this year’s free-agent market, as he’ll join Pedro Alvarez, Adam Lind, Logan Morrison, Mitch Moreland and Ryan Howard. However, unlike those peers, Moss is capable of playing in the corner outfield and as highly productive for much of the season before his sudden decline, probably making him the most desirable of the bunch. Even if he doesn’t sign somewhere to log everyday at-bats, he could still rotate between first base, corner outfield and DH enough to receive 400 to 500 plate appearances somewhere next season, assuming he remains healthy.