Today marked the deadline for players to receive one-year qualifying offers at this year’s rate of $17.4MM. Now that the dust has settled, we know that nine players will weigh those decisions for the next ten days.
That falls on the lower end of the spectrum, matching the prior low from 2012 (the first season that the QO system was in operation). On the high side, twenty players received qualifying offers in 2015. But that was also the first year in which any players accepted the one-year offer, which may itself have had an impact on future teams deciding whether to issue it. Last year, after all, there were only ten recipients. At the end of the day, of course, the actual players and teams involved matter most, and that can vary quite a bit from year to year based on a wide variety of factors.
New rules went into effect this winter, so you’ll want to review those to understand how it’ll work this time around. Those rules likely will continue to dampen the use of the QO on the margins, both through the reduction of draft compensation for issuing teams and by the prohibition on multiple QOs for the same player. Of course, it’s worth bearing in mind that every free agent class is different — and that every team situation is as well.
Here are this year’s free agents who were extended a qualifying offer by their teams (in alphabetical order):
- Jake Arrieta, SP, Cubs (source)
- Lorenzo Cain, OF, Royals (post)
- Alex Cobb, SP, Rays (post)
- Wade Davis, RP, Cubs (source)
- Greg Holland, RP, Rockies (source)
- Eric Hosmer, 1B, Royals (post)
- Lance Lynn, SP, Cardinals (post)
- Mike Moustakas, 3B, Royals (post)
- Carlos Santana, 1B, Indians (post)
Several players that were discussed as QO candidates ended up being bypassed — which, generally, is a good thing for their earning power in free agency. Zack Cozart of the Reds (post), Andrew Cashner of the Rangers (post), and Logan Morrison of the Rays (post) were among the closest calls that went against the offer.