This offseason, Major League Baseball’s qualifying offer will be set at $18.9MM, reports Evan Drellich of the Athletic (via Twitter). The value, which is determined by taking the average of the game’s 125 highest-paid players, represents a $1.1MM raise over last offseason’s $17.8MM figure.
Any team wishing to receive draft compensation for the loss of a free agent will first have to make that free agent a one-year offer worth that $18.9MM value. Qualifying offer recipients will have 10 days to decide whether to accept or reject the offer and are free to talk with other clubs during that window as they get an early sense of their market value. If a player accepts, he’ll have signed at that rate for the 2021 season. Like other free-agent signings, that player would be ineligible to be traded, without his consent, prior to June 15 of the following season.
Only players who spent the entire 2020 season with the same organization are eligible to receive a qualifying offer; midseason trade acquisitions and signings cannot receive one. Additionally, the 2017-21 collective bargaining agreement also added the stipulation that players can only receive one qualifying offer in their career. Twins DH Nelson Cruz, for instance, will hit the open market unencumbered after receiving a qualifying offer from the Orioles in 2014. That also rules out Braves outfielder Marcell Ozuna, who was tagged last year by the Cardinals, and Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner, who received one in 2016.
In past offseasons, teams deployed the qualifying offer rather liberally. Doing so ensured the club would receive draft compensation if a player departed, and the player accepting the QO would only lock them in on a short term, albeit at a relatively lofty rate. With the pandemic-driven revenue losses that plagued MLB in 2020, it’s likely that teams will be more reluctant to put those large single-year salaries on the table for borderline players.
Turning to the upcoming free agent class, a few players stand out as obvious QO candidates despite the broad financial uncertainty. Phillies catcher J.T. Realmuto, Reds starter Trevor Bauer, Astros outfielder George Springer and Yankees second baseman DJ LeMahieu are all established players coming off strong to elite seasons. All four appear to be locks to receive and reject the QO.
More interesting are the potential borderline cases. As Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle points out (Twitter link), Athletics shortstop Marcus Semien would’ve been an obvious QO candidate in a typical offseason. Between the aforementioned revenue losses and Semien’s disappointing abbreviated season, that no longer appears to be likely. Starting pitchers Kevin Gausman and Marcus Stroman seem unlikely to receive offers from the Giants and Mets, respectively, but they’re plausible candidates. So too are Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons and Phillies infielder Didi Gregorius, among others.
As a reminder, the parameters for teams signing or losing qualified free agents are as follows:
For teams that signs a qualified free agent…
- A team that received revenue sharing the previous season will forfeit its third-highest selection upon. Signing a second qualified would result in the loss of that team’s fourth-highest selection. Signing a third would result in the loss of its fifth-highest selection.
- A team that did not receive revenue sharing and also did not pay any luxury tax penalties would lose its second-highest selection as well as $500K of the league’s allotted international bonus pool. Signing additional qualified free agents would result in forfeiting the third-highest selection and another $500K of international allotments.
- A team that paid luxury tax penalties must forfeit both its second- and fifth-highest selections in the 2019 draft and forfeit $1MM of international funds. Signing a second would result in the loss of that team’s third- and sixth-highest picks, plus another $1MM in international funds.
For teams who lose qualified free agents…
- A draft pick after Competitive Balance Round B will be awarded if the team losing the free agent did not receive revenue sharing or if the free agent in question signed a contract worth less than $50MM in guaranteed money.
- A draft pick after Round 1 will be awarded if the team losing the free agent received revenue sharing and the free agent in question signed for more than $50MM.
- A draft pick after Round 4 will be awarded if the team losing the free agent paid luxury tax penalties in the preceding season.
Yes or no: Justin Turner gets a QO at the end of the season?
For one year I think it’s worth the risk to offer it. Assume is will only play 100-120 games due to injuries.
Like with Cruz and Ozuna, he’s previously been offered a QO, so he’s ineligible.
MLB and the union should have agreed on a one time lower number for this off season but they can’t agree on anything. Many more players will be free agents which will lower the value for all but a few of the free agents.
Most of this offseason’s free agents were already screwed anyway when the players’ union refused to budge on receiving full pro-rated salaries this season. They essentially threw a significant portion of their membership under the bus just so that the majority could get some extra dough.
They’re probably going to work out a 2 year deal at or around his current salary
As one of the other commenters pointed out, he’s ineligible by virtue of being tagged in 2016. I’ve updated the post to reflect that. Thanks!
See paragraph 3
Chief Two Hands
As a Dodgers fan, I hope they re-sign him. His leadership is valuable and that organization is built around quality people that goes beyond just physical talent. It’s also the reason the Kershaw and Betts extensions were good moves. Also, the Dodgers can afford it,
Turner absolutely gets a QO.
Turner isn’t eligible for a QO
no, he has already been offered a QO in the past
No, for the reason stated in the 3d paragraph
I don’t think Simmons receives a QO this year
That’s a hard call. Fletcher can play short, but I doubt he’ll be a plus SS. Jones can play second, but is he ready?
That’s two huge gambles. If they don’t sign him, they better spend that money on pitching.
The Angels have options to play 2B on the open market without breaking the bank.
LeMahieu, Hernandez, Schoop, Profar, La Stella. Id trade Adell and other prospects for pitching and bring in an OF like Pederson (hoping for a rebound year) and Pillar to platoon with him.
They need pitching more than anything.
La Stella can’t play second. LeMaheiu will be very expensive. Profar? I’m Pro keeping him far away.
The Angels are not going to trade Adell. Pederson is a platoon outfielder at best.
DJLM will not only be expensive, but he will also cost a draft pick because he will surely get the QO.
I agree they need to trade Adell while his prospect value is still high. He really looks like the next Lewis Brinson, a high prospect that can’t hit his weight at the big league level. Adell is still young and could easily prove me wrong, but do the Angels need to risk the rest of Mike Trout’s prime on that gamble? Trade him for established pitching and see what happens in the playoffs. Outfield prospects are a lot easier to find than quality big league pitching.
“play 2B on the open market without breaking the bank.”
2 years 30-40 mill isn’t breaking the bank for LaMahieu. He isn’t going to cost them a long term commitment like a Rendon. Most guys on that list won’t see more than 3 years.
Profar is coming off his best offensive season he’s had. If you believe he can sustain league average or better offense he’d come cheap.
Yes Pederson is a platoon OF. Which is why I said also sign Pillar.
Point is. Angels have options. Simmons would be a luxury. Better to invest in pitching like Bauer and trade for pitching.
Considering the currently small contents of the Angels’ “bank,” a 2-year $30-40M deal would indeed be breaking it while they need to overhaul their starting rotation.
To me, Simmons might be the toughest call on the players listed in the article. Should be interesting, but the Angels have so much bound up in other players they might not risk it.
Adel looks like Brinson because he struggled in his first experience at the major league level? Most prospects do. I don’t necessarily disagree with trading Adel because they do need pitching but it should be for the right pitcher or don’t trade him and bet on the player you think he is.
I would say you give Simmons a QO, assuming he doesn’t agree to a team friendly contract. If he agrees to it you have him for that year and let him go. He is 31 right now so how much longer do you really want to keep him anyway? If he doesn’t sign for the QO than the difficult decision of whether he is worth that much money is off your plate.
People are crazy, Adel looks like Brinson why? Brinson was 23 when he broke in, Adell is 21.
A “no” for Simmons is a no brainer. Fantastic defense but offensively he is a dime a dozen.
Semien is the only “maybe” on the list. I think a higher spending team would do it, the A’s however I’m not so sure about.
Stroman I could see also, the goat made a good point but used a terrible example. JBJ would never get a QO however the Mets traded for Stroman and he sat out the entire 2020 season. He was due to make 12, I could see the Mets reaching so the trade wasn’t a sunk cost as they failed to make the playoffs in 2019.
Simmons doesn’t get a QO. 19 million is too much for a guy who can’t stay on the field. Not to mention they need that money to offer to FA pitchers. Villar would be an option for the Angels. Or Galvis. Short term deals that don’t block prospects from having an opportunity. Marsh is more likely going to get traded, over Adell.
I kinda agree with angelsfan4life. They could get a defensive minded shortstop like Freddy Galvis on a reasonable 1 or 2 and save quite a bit of money. He’s nothing special with the bat either but he can pop a home run every now and then. There priority this off-season has to be pitching. Explore the trade market or free agency for maybe 2 starters and 2 relievers. They have some decent players in their farm system that other teams would be interested in. Priority one should be a TOR arm like Bauer or maybe call up Cleveland and ask about a guy like Carlos Carrasco. The Indians have an excess supply of great starters and they could use some more bats terribly. I believe they should also sign a guy like mike leake. He’s definitely not an ace but he’s a guy that you know what you’re going to get out of him. There’s something to be said for consistency. Then they could make a move for a couple of decent guys for the bullpen. There are people like Shane Greene and Trevor Rosenthal that could be had without breaking the bank. Maybe finish up the off-season by adding a veteran catcher to help with there young pitchers. If they can do something like that I see them making the playoffs next year. They just can’t ignore the need for pitching help. This team has too much offensive potential to not address the issue.
Mets should make QO to Stroman. does t prevent them from going after Bauer, JT and Springer…and solves a hole in a weak rotation.
Yeah I also think a QO would make a lot of sense for Stroman. Mets need all the help they can get in the rotation next year
For Stroman getting $18.9m makes sense. He was injured and then opted out this year. I don’t know if it makes sense for the Mets to give him that type of money in this market. Stroman is a prime candidate to take a one year deal to try to establish more value.
Agreed. QO to Stroman should be a given. Am not sold on JT. Don’t like giving massive contracts to catchers — especially at his age — since catchers are on the field least often of any position. Give me a more-or-less league average hitting catcher with plus defense and spend the big money on pitching. But if Realmuto would accept 4/80m. I would not object as long as pitching was also on Mets’ hit list.
The question is wether or not the DH will remain in the NL. If it does, signing Realmuto to a big deal is less of a concern because he can DH when he isn’t behind the plate and as he ages he can move exclusively to DH.
Realmuto is a very good defensive catcher and his bat plays at DH. He’s like Contreras in that regards but a better receiver. Given his age, I think 5/125 is the starting point. He isn’t going to get the 8 plus year deals given to Posey and Mauer because those were extensions, he will however get the highest free agent deal with the largest AAV and will be well worth it.
Yeah, I don’t know why the author of this article thinks it’s ‘unlikely’. I think it’s a no-brainer, especially now with Cohen owning them.
@ExileinLA he opted out of the season this year. He won’t be playing next season because of COVID. If he did the Mets would have a slam dunk case against him with his messages about how he couldn’t wait to play when it was clear he cared about service time manipulation.
I think Stroman does plan to in 2021 and DID manipulate his service time by using the pandemic. I want him to get the QO just to screw him back for screwing the fans. He could have easily helped us win 2-3 games and made the playoffs instead of the Marlins or Reds.
I can’t see the QO hurting any of those big four free agents value. I wouldn’t give one to any other player who qualifies.
also worth noting next year’s draft will be harder to gauge then this one was. we already know who the top talent was coming into the year. 2021 draft candidates lost probably their most important year though.
How much will this fall next offseason due to depressed salaries this offseason?
A ton ! Owners getting hammer with no fans and shortened season yet the performance of stock market will impact teams decision to spend more than either of other 2 factors and that’s pretty grim too.
A’s wont offer Semien bc they’ll bc scared he’ll take it. Outside of Bauer you won’t be impressed w money any player gets. JT be lucky to get a 100 mill- even if the yanks are willing to get in on action.
You will see many big names sit again even longer this year in FA for sure. Quality players like Stroman didi and Simmons will get well below typical market value.
Sucks for players…..
I think the A’s would be glad to have Semien around for one more year, even if they have to pay a bit of a premium for it. If he comes anywhere close to his 2019 form it won’t be much of a premium anyway.
The A’s should give Semien a QO. It’s a good gamble and they can use him next year if he accepts.
Not much because it’s based on the average of the top paid 125 players.
Tried thinking of guys who are in that group whose contracts expire this offseason. The first one that comes to mind is Prince Fielder but do you know if he was included in last year’s calculation because he was released?
99 percent sure he was factored in (releasing him doesn’t mean his contract goes away, so i’m guessing it counts).
am gonna also guess cespedes deal wasn’t used for this year, because thanks to him doing what he did, mets got to keep about 70 percent of it (now i wonder if ellsbury’s deal was used or not to get to the number, since the yanks released him and filed something to avoid paying him).
Hope Bauer signs a multi year deal for reds pick sake.
Doubt it. He’s said he wants to sign one-year deals for the rest of his career to maximize his earnings and assure himself of being on a team he believes has potential. Plus, coming off a year with far less revenue, teams are going to be leery of big-money deals.
Bauer has since walked that statement back a little saying if he’s offered a multi-year deal that makes since to him, he would take it. It’s difficult to know what that offer looks like and I’m pretty sure a good number of teams will be interested in a one year deal and make several offers. In my mind, Bauer is this seasons biggest mystery box.
What about Jackie Bradley Jr?
They’re not going to give JBJ an offer nearing $19 million.
They basically have to. Otherwise what was the point of not trading him?
No bc he isn’t worth that. If they give him a qo they should be fired.
@lowtalker When the Red Sox didn’t trade JBJ it was obvious that the QO was what they planned to do. There was literally no other reason not to trade him.
There’s also no team that will take a 19 million dollar glove first outfielder either. It’s a lose-lose situation.
He wasn’t owed $19m at this year’s trade deadline. He was owed about $1833k
Yea, he was owed $11 millon, and I’m sure that turned some teams off. But you are still missing my point. If he is offered the QO of $18.9 million (rounded up to $19 million), he’ll more than likely accept the offer, and no team is going to want to fork out that amount in a trade lest the Sox are taking on a very large portion of that $19 million.
And you’re missing my point. They have to QO him otherwise they lose a player for absolutely nothing when they could have traded him at the deadline. That is the only way not trading Bradley works for Boston. They weren’t even close to a wild card spot.
They don’t have to pay JBJ $19 million. There is no way he is worth it.
No, if they QO him, not only are they losing a player for absoltuley nothing, but also losing $19 million in the process because no team is going to trade for a $19 million glove only centerfielder when they can go out and sign someone like Jake Marisnick or Kevin Pillar for a fraction of the price.
@Howie415 If he isn’t worth that then why didn’t they trade him?
@mlb1225 If they QO him they aren’t losing a player for absolutely nothing. They are either losing JBJ for a draft pick or getting another year of JBJ. But if they don’t QO him then they do lose him for nothing. They didn’t trade him, so the only way to justify it is by QOing him. That’s all I’m saying and so many people get triggered it’s insane!
They didn’t trade him because nobody wanted him. If you can make a case for at least one team to take on a $19 million glove first outfielder over someone like Marisnick or Pillar, please I would love to hear it.
Then they’re letting him walk for nothing. His value is tanked now anyways.
@mlb1225 I don’t have to make that case. When you aren’t contending and you have a pending FA like Bradley, you have 3 options: Extend him before free agency, take what you can get in trade for him, or QO him. Letting him walk for nothing was never an option.
At the very least, nobody wanted him at his salary. He is a good player, but he is not worth the money he made last year, let alone $8 million on a QO.
@hiflew then pay his salary down to where someone will take him
@jimthegoat What makes you think a team offered anything for him? Trades take two teams.
@Howie415 if they don’t intend on QOing him and they could have gotten so much as a bag of balls for him they should have taken it.
Teams let players walk all the time. Why is JBJ any different?
@Howie415 Those teams are contending. Having that player on the team down the stretch and in the playoffs has more value than anything they might have gotten in a trade. That wasn’t an issue for Boston this year.
You cannot possibly believe that the Red Sox would give Bradley Jr. a Qualifying offer?!?!?!
I understand your rational that you do not want to let a player walk away with absolutely nothing to show for it but you also do not throw bad money at a guy. The Red Sox are in a reloading phase, so that 18.9 million will be reinvested in a guy that can help them win in the near future. Lets not forget, the Red Sox went from worst to first several years back. They have the financial might to take advantage of this offseason where you will see a lot of team looking to dump payroll.
The Red Sox are almost always players in free agency. They are more likely to spend on George Springer than pay JBJ
@JimtheGoat It is most likely that the Red Sox did not receive a single offer for Bradley Jr.
Because of the pandemic most teams were reluctant to trade anything for a glove-first outfielder for the final month of the season. And even if a team offered the Red Sox a trade for Bradley, the offer would have been not even worth the Red Sox accepting it.
Jim, you are just missing the obvious despite what so many others here keep trying to tell you.
1) No one was willing to offer anything of substance for a few week rental of Bradley.
2) The Red Sox did not work out an extension because they want to see what his value is before putting money down. It is very possible this offseason will be light on spending and the Red Sox do not want to look foolish by bidding against themselves. They are absolutely willing to risk losing him rather than being stuck with a bad contract at this point.
Probably 90% of free agents are allowed to walk without a QO. My guess is that they want to sign him to a contract, and thought that keeping him might improve those odds.
But I’d be shocked if they offered him a QO. I’m thinking that they offer him more like $20M/2.
Ok, let’s pretend I am the general manager of the Pittsburgh Pirates, or any team needing CF help for that matter. Tell me what incentive I have in trading for Bradley, surrendering a player and let’s say paying $8 million of his $19 million salary, rather than just signing Jake Marisnick for $5 million outright
@jim. I know you are discussing with a lot of commenters so I understand if you don’t respond to me but your case seems to be that because they didn’t trade him they will give him a QO.
That seems crazy to me. Even if letting him walk is a loss for the Red Sox, the loss is only increased if you pay him almost $19 million for what he can do for you.
I suppose if you think JBJ really will continue to produce like he did this year than I more see your case but I think that’s counting on to much
The Red Sox scored big with Potts, Rosario, Seabold, Pivetta, Wallace added to Downs, Wong, and Verdugo.
That is 6 top 20 prospects and 2 mlb players.
They did not trade Bradley, because the return was not good enough. The Red Sox do not need to give Bradley a QO as they can simply negotiate and maybe he signs for $12 million instead of $18.9 million (or maybe they just resign Pillar for $5 million and platoon him with Jarren Duran when he comes up in June or July).
You don’t offer him $19 million just so you can get a chance to trade him. No team is going to trade for JBJ unless you eat nearly every single penny of that QO. At that point, the money you spend on him is going to be worth a lot more than whatever you can get back.
he was making peanuts this season and the bosox were not getting anything of value for him. wasn’t worth the effort
The Human Rain Delay
This is probably the worst take ive ever seen on here-
Not surprised it comes from Jimmy
@drasco036 the only way to justify not trading him is by QOing him. And QOing him would be no dumber than your suggestion of the Cubs non-tendering Kris Bryant.
“And even if a team offered the Red Sox a trade for Bradley, the offer would have been not even worth the Red Sox accepting it.”
A literal used jock strap would have been worth accepting for Bradley given the position the Red Sox were in.
@UGA_Steve Trading him wouldn’t have stopped them from seeing what his value is before putting money down if that is what they want to do.
@JoeBrady Keeping JBJ won’t improve his odds of signing with them. Not. One. Bit.
@mlb1225 I don’t have to do that! I never said JBJ was or wasn’t worth $19m. All I said was that the only way to justify not trading him was by QOing him.
@SalaryCapMyth that’s exactly it. They didn’t trade him so the only way to justify it is to QO him.
@Yahoomlb The farm can always be added to. There is no return that would be “not good enough” for Bradley because he was a pending FA and the Sox were out of the race. Bradley had no value to them. Heck, he had negative value to them because he cost $. If they want to sign him on the open market, they could have still done that if they traded him.
@kahnkobra $4074k is not “peanuts.” They weren’t giving up anything of value by trading Bradley either.
@The Human Rain Delay not nearly as bad as your “getting rid of Manny Machado was addition by subtraction” take.
The Human Rain Delay
Agh …..the subtraction came with 30 mill which got us Mookie now didnt it….you forgot that little important part didnt ya
Watching that clown Machado yell at the pitcher last night after he did the same thing 2 inns prior was very very satisfying
That’s not what you said. You said that just getting him off the roster was addition by subtraction. And that was before the Dodgers extended Betts.
Padres don’t even come close to the playoffs without Manny Machado. So much for “addition by subtraction” LOL
“A literal used jock strap would have been worth accepting for Bradley given the position the Red Sox were in.”
And there in lies the issue. You don’t give Bradley nearly $19 million so you can essentially waste it by trading him for something worth well less than $19 million. That’s subtraction by addition.
They won’t offer a QO to JBJ because they tried to trade him at the deadline, and found they could get absolutely nothing for him. That’s why Pillar was traded. He was worth more.
JBJ was lucky he wasn’t non-tendered. I think he would have gotten less than $7m as a free agent last year instead of the $9m or so he got thru arbitration. I imagine the Sox planned to deal him but it never happened due to the pandemic.
if the Phillies like their chances to sign JT i dont think they can risk a QO on Didi
Yeah, and Didi felt like the best candidate for one out of that bunch, so I don’t think very many are going to accept the QO.
Phils should make Didi a solid two year offer w/ a team option for a third, $35M or so, he was a huge part of the offense and fit well on the team……. I think he will take it. Phils have two solid kids in minors (Stott and Martin) to play short who will/should be ready in 2 years, maybe sooner.
Not so sure Phils will be able to sign JT. If Yanks lose in playoffs to Rays, they will be looking for a replacement for Sanchez. And the Mets will definitely want to upgrade over Ramos…….and with a new owner and money, he may open the wallet big time. Phils may be forced to find another ML quality catcher and form a platoon with Knapp. That is why they need to sign Didi and not let him become a FA……they need his offense.
I think Didi gets a QO. Regardless of what happens with JT, he’s probably worth that on a one-year deal if he accepts and if he doesn’t, they get something back when he walks. They’re not getting hosed either way.
Agree they should do that if they cannot work out a contract with him first. They can’t afford to lose him if JT goes elsewhere. They can’t afford to lose him if JT stays either……Didi and Bohm were the most consistent hitters on the team.
If Yanks lose in playoffs to Rays, they will be looking for a replacement for Sanchez.
It fits, but I doubt it. So far, their three playoff non-Cole games resulted in 24 runs in 3 games. If they lose the playoffs, it won’t be because they only scored 40 runs in five games.
Keeping DJ is more important than signing JT…….but I also think they realize that Sanchez is not the answer for them.. I would not put it past them to make an offer if it gets that far.
I feel if the Yanks lose in the playoffs, JT will be a signing more for his defense than his offense. Although his offense will be welcomed, especially since he’ll be a great compliment in that lineup.
Gausman is actually a tough one – guess it will depend on if the giants feel they can re sign him – he got 9+ incentives and performed like an ace so maybe they offer him something like 2/25 and see if he bites?
Whether or not they think they can sign him has no bearing on the matter. Here is what does:
A) Do they think he accepts?
B) If he does are they ok with that?
It’s pretty certain Gausman accepts the QO if it is offered but maybe the Giants are ok paying a premium for one year of a mid-rotation starter and think he will have trade value next July?
yeah I mean that is the thought – it is 1 year and you are getting rid of smardzija’s salary so in the end if you feel like having him in the rotation is more advantageous why not overpay for 1 year since there aren’t many other alternatives
Shark has already been released from his contract. He was DFA with a week left in the season.
Gausman would accept the QO without a doubt. Much better pitchers than him have floundered in free agency with the QO attached. No way the Giants offer it.
Man, teams signing a qualified free agent that paid luxury tax – going back in time and losing those 2019 picks is going to be rough, much less the physics behind it.
Obvious typo… should say 2009 picks.
Springer likely only 100 million contract this year. Realmuto probably around 75-80, Bauer will stick to one year deal and LeMahieu probably tops out around 60 million. Simien, Simmons would be surprised to see either reach 50 million, it would depend on years. Gregorious maybe exceeds 50 on 3+ year deal. Stroman likely tops out around 4/72.. Not only will 100 million deals be scarce, but I think multi-year deals exceeding 2 years will be very scarce as well. The trade market will likely be hotter than FA market as 1B, 3B, Pitcher, and OF have few marquee names available. Ozuna, probably the highest AAV after Springer and Realmuto. Pitching trade market should be busy as after Stroman and Bauer FA market drops off considerably.
i think youre overestimating how depressed the market will be.
I’ll bet you an “I told you so” that J.T. gets a 100+ million dollar contract. And if Bauer wants a 100+ million dollar contract, he’ll get one.
Springer, JT, and Bauer (if he wants a multi-year), are all practically locks to exceed $100M (JT, though, would depend on whether someone wants to sign a catcher to more than 4 years). Ozuna may hit that with enough years, though I think he falls just a little short. Semien would have been a lock for $100M before his performance this year, but I still think he could easily exceed $50M on a 4+yr deal. Agree with Darkside, you’re a bit too down on this market.
Semien would have had to repeat his 2019 performance before any team would have gave him 100 million based on his body of work and the free agent class coming behind him. Prior to last season, his offensive skill set was not desirable, low batting average, low on base, mid teens power? That isn’t landing 100 million. Teams will look at 2019 as an outlier based on the increase in home runs that season… 50 million will be pushing it given that none of the big spenders are going to go all in for him with Lindor, Baez, Story and Seager all potentially being free agents the following year.
I doubt Ozuna gets 100 million either, his body of work does not support it. Fantastic 2020 and 2017 but he’s been pretty pedestrian the rest of his career. Doesn’t bode well for a guy who does not play defense well and arm is shot. Sixty games does not make a season, otherwise Castellanos would have secured a 100 million last year. He will be in the 64-80 million range if someone wants to be stupid about it.
I think Semien would have gotten $100M if he’d been a FA last year. 8.9 WAR is something that will get any GM excited. And while it was easily his best season, he was worth 4.7 in 2018, which is AS-level, despite the slightly below average bat. Now, after his 2020 season, I think you’re right that they’ll look at it as an outlier, but I don’t think he’ll get lowballed because of those others, especially since no team has a guarantee of getting any of them.
You might be right on Ozuna. I looked into his numbers a little more closely and his OPS+ is around 110 most years aside from 17 and 20. I honestly thought he was better than that in his lesser years.
I’m sorry but Semien has not posted an OPS+ above 100 but one time in his career. Are you going to give Andrelton Simmons a 100 million dollars? Because they are very very similar outside of one season where Semien played outstanding baseball.
Absolutely no way with the market being what it is that Semien gets 100 million dollars.
That’s too high for this shorten season
It seems like the Qualifying Offer is getting tougher for teams who want to sign a premier free agent. I wish the teams signing the free agent wouldn’t lose anything. It’s supposed to a free market. Free agents have every right to sign where they wish.
My solution would be;
1. Team signing the free agent loses nothing. Free agents still represent a great deal of risk. Will teams pay for what the player WILL produce, or will they pay for what the player has already accomplished? As an Angel fan, the contracts of Albert Pujols and Justin Upton have hamstrung the organization’s ability to pursue, effectively, legitimate top of the rotation arms,
2. Team losing free agent gains a competitive balance pick based on MVP or CY voting. (Top 10 equals 1st round competitive balance pick. 11-20 gets 2nd round competitive balance pick). Those that did not hit in the Top 20 of either, gain a 3rd round competitive balance pick. It’s very unlikely that the 3rd round competitive balance pick would be awarded because teams are unlikely to offer an $18.9M contract unless they’re THAT good.
My personal opinion is that MLB should do away with the qualifying offer all together and switch to a restricted free agency model like NHL.
I would say, in the next CBA, that rookie deals stay at 7 years but players can go to restricted free agency if they choose to do so after year 6. Then teams can sign a player to an offer sheet. If the contract holding team rejects the offer sheet then the new team “gives up” their second round pick but retains it’s slot value, the team losing the player picks up the second round pick and also it’s slot value.
I believe that once a player has fulfilled their 7 year commitment on their rookie deal, that is ALL they owe the team. If a player signs a contract to a team and completes the contract, that is all they owe the team. Draft pick compensation should ONLY be attached to players who leave via free agency a year early.
Also, I thought Manfred said that no player was going to be tied to draft pick compensation this year. If that is the case and I was the Cubs, I would seriously consider non-tendering Kris Bryant but extending him a QO.
Non-tendering Bryant would be the dumbest thing the Cubs could possibly do.
Bryant looked completely lost at the plate this season, was awful in the field and refuses to adjust his swing. I think paying him 20 plus million is the dumbest thing the Cubs can do.
Also, his recent comments about the fan base, stating he doesn’t give a $h*t makes me think KB has played his last game for the Cubs. The question is can you do better than a first round pick via trade when he hasn’t been producing?
First off, don’t talk about a QO for Kris Bryant. He is not a free agent. Revisit that in a year……and of course, if he is still around they will do the QO thing.
He certainly had a horrible, injury riddled season…..and that’s now a few in a row with injuries piling up.
And yes, he’s not a five for one trade candidate anymore but that doesn’t mean that the Cubs won’t get good value for him (Or Baez, Schwarber, etc). You can’t tell me that four, five, ten, fifteen teams wouldn’t be interested in Bryant. That alone will increase the cost in trade talks. The value because increasingly lower if only one team is interested.
The Human Rain Delay
I dont even think he knows the difference between a QO and non-tender tbh – This guys been all over the place for years
That funny, I haven’t been commenting on this site for much longer than six months.
And yes, I know the difference between being non-tendered and having a Qualifying Offer… If you knew your history you’d know that players have had their options declined and still received a QO from their teams, I don’t see why that would be any different for a non-tender.
I talked about non-tendering then issuing a QO which, if he accepted, would save the Cubs a couple million dollars.
As for the amount of teams interested in Bryant:
Lets start with teams who have established third basemen:
Now lets cross off teams that are low budget and cannot afford KB’s 20 plus million dollars:
Now bottom dwellers who are rebuilding who will either have no interest in Bryant or have a third base prospect waiting in the wings
24-St. Louis (NL Central)
25-Brewers (NL Central)
26-Braves (has young Austin Riley)
27-Giants (still tied up with Longoria)
29-Seattle (Already tied up with Seager)
So, the list of teams who will be interested in Bryant is fairly small. Yes, he can play multiple positions such as outfield and first base but does a team, given the financial uncertainty that they all will face after this season and going into next season, really want to:
Take on 20 million dollars
Have him play a new position
Give up a top prospect
If we are being completely honest, if Bryant was a free agent this season, he would accept the Qualifying Offer because the best he would be looking at would be around 15 million AAV and most likely it would be a 1-3 year deal on top of that.
If you really look at Bryants 2020 season there is really nothing to be excited about. His exit velocity was poor, he only barreled 5 (yes 5) balls all season, his hard hit percentage was poor, his K rate increased to almost 30% and he didn’t drive in any runs.
Looking further into his stats, he continues to be inapt against breaking pitches (.128 BA) and he cannot catch up to a fastball up in the zone.
Now, when you have him chewing up 20 million in payroll and you have Bote on the roster who is a better defender and who’s exit velocity and hard hit percentage run in the top 10% of MLB, he comes up big in clutch situations, he makes a fraction of KB’s salary and he runs just as well.
I’m not saying that non-tendering KB is a no brainer but it’s something if you run the Cubs you certainly have to consider if you cannot trade him. You have a bunch of guys entering free agency and the financial situation is not good. The Cubs HAVE to get under the luxury tax regardless of wether or not TR is crying poor. Given the estimated arbitration raises, they will only have about 15-20 million to play with if they hope to stay under. One would have to assume Epstein would want to compete next season which means he has to replace Jon Lester and most likely add another arm. We lucked out with Mills and AA but you have to assume one of those guys will be viewed as a swing man for next year. Epstein also HAS to improve the consistency of the offense, which most likely means bringing in a Michael Brantley type hitter. We need an outfielder who can hit left handed pitching badly, the Cubs outfield hit under .200 against south paws last season. Having an extra 20 million to work with would greatly improve the Cubs ability to add a Marcus Stroman type pitcher and Brantley or trade for Tommy Pham.
Lastly, if you paid attention, last offseason GM’s were laughing in Epstein’s face regarding the asking price for Bryant. A lot of GM’s were critical of KB’s swing, he most certainly did not do anything to improve their opinions of him.
FWIW Kyle Seager is an “established” third baseman who has posted 4.5 fWAR, valued at $35.6 million, in only 166 games since the start of the 2019 season.
As a point of reference, over the same period Dodger third baseman Justin Turner, who is three years older than Seager, has posted 4.7 fWAR, valued at $37..5 million, in 177 games.
Seager is owed only $18.5 million in 2021 with a buyout of $0 to $3 million of a 2022 team option of $15 million to $20 million. Turner enters free agency coming off a 2020 salary of $20 million.
Bruh, no one is non-tendering Kris Bryant. Not now, not ever.
If I’m trying to win and cannot trade him I would. There is very little reward vs. the risk if you actually pay attention.
Sure, you can suspect it had to do with the shortened season but comparatively, Schwarber who also had an awful season statistically:
KB- Barrel rate 5.5%, hard hit rate 32%, Exit velocity 86MPH XBA .202 XOBP .275, sweet spot 35%
KS-barrel rate 11.2% hard hit 47.2, Exit velo 92.8, XBA .244, XOBP .358
So Schwarber had more to do with bad luck vs. KB who was just absolutely terrible. Schwarber numbers as also skewed because he continues to be absolutely horrid against lefties.
Baez was bad also but he was more league average and plays exceptional defense… he will also be in the 12-15 million range next season.
Now, if you actually pay attention, there are major flaws in Bryants game that continue to get exploited and unless he is willing to change, will end his career.
First, he has refused to change his launch angle heavy approach. The league is changing more each year to combat launch angle, it’s obvious, and pitchers are getting better at it. Most hitters have changed some and look to attach pitches up in the zone (see Ian Happ). Bryant has not and when it was brought up to him two seasons ago he flat out refused.
Second, Bryant continues to be pull happy. No right handed hitter gets shifted against more than Bryant and again, he refuses to change his approach.
I really do not think the trade market for Bryant is going to be very robust nor do I think the Cubs can improve their team based on the limited payroll flexibility. The offense has been broken for four straight seasons, you cannot go status pro quo anymore. Epstein needs to add one or two guys who can put the ball in play and are more fundamentally sound.
The Human Rain Delay
Talking bout Jim Drascoo
Drasco, great assessment of the situation.
Wow, you put a great deal of thought and effort into Kris Bryant’s value. Its hard to judge the poor individual results this season. It seems every team has a few batters producing “Deadball Era” offense.
As for the amount of teams interested in Bryant:
Nice analysis. I did the same with JD Martinez when some RS were freaking out when DD was holding the line on his offer. One of the biggest factors is that even big-market teams have various needs.
Some of the RS writers love Springer. Good player, and we have an opening, but we also need an SP, / RPs, and a 2B.
I think Springer would be a great fit for the Red Sox in all honesty and yes, the Red Sox need help at other positions but given the uncertainty of the market they can probably fill those position fairly cheaply.
Not knowing too much about their arbitration eligible players, they only have 142 million committed (only). With a LT set at 210 million that allows them to pay Springer 30 million AAV and still have 35 million to add. There are plenty of intriquing starting pitcher who can be had for equal to or less than 15 million and Simmons you could possibly add for I think 8 million and shift Bogarts to second.
I personally think a “heart” of Martinez, Springer, Bogarts and Devers if he bounces back is as good as there is. Add a guy like Robbie Ray on the cheap “pillow” contract who has two type stuff and you got Sale, Ray and Eovaldi which is a lightening in a bottle rotation for the playoffs. Your bullpen you can address at the deadline.
hopefully this will help my Phillies keep JT realmuto. Hopefully he for some reason decides to sign it and that will give the Phillies another full season to try to work out a long-term deal. I know the chances of that happening are probably about 2% if I’m lucky but you can always wish stranger things have happened
Salient Point: Any salary in the MLB is currently 40 cents on the dollar in reality, So an $18.9M Q.O. is actually $7.56M in real dollars to the player. So why not call it that and acknowledge all the real current salaries under the circumstances?
At a technical/accuracy level, I am bothered by the fact that it’s common knowledge salaries have been cut by 60% across the board, so the Q.O. isn’t accurate at all. Assuming we don’t get a viable and widely distributed and successful vaccination protocol before next season and thus unless we get fans back in the stands, vendors back in the shops and people buying tickets, buying merchandise, paying for parking, etc. an $18.9M Q.O. is actually $7.56M. Now, I realize they’re all in the same boat. A guy making $25M on paper is actually making $10M, a guy making $15M on paper is actually making $6M, a guy making $1M on paper is actually making $400k, etc, and this is no different.
Still, seems inaccurate and pointless to even price it at the full amount when that’s not gonna be the case for a while and is no longer an accurate reflection of the revenue streams, profits or budgets.
You do realize that the Qualifying Offer is for next years salary right?
I’ll go ahead and quote my own reply to this article: “Assuming we don’t get a viable and widely distributed and successful vaccination protocol BEFORE NEXT SEASON and thus UNLESS we get fans back in the stands, vendors back in the shops and people buying tickets, buying merchandise, paying for parking, etc. an $18.9M Q.O. is actually $7.56M.”
There’s still no vaccine that’s being distributed and there may not be in the next six months, so next season may start under the same circumstances this season was played under.
So you think baseball will only play 60 games again? Because players only got paid less because they played less.
Second, football already is allowing fans at a reduced capacity, theme parks are allowing guest at a reduced capacity and it’s only going to increase. Magically, after November, there is going to be much less talk and concern regarding Covid-19.
Thirdly, baseball his an entire offseason to make contingencies for games without fans vs. having the monkey wrench thrown in during the end of spring training.
You can quote yourself all you want but it won’t make you right.
Touche I forgot about the reduced schedule factoring in this season. My bad.
The guy who isn’t on the list that may get one is Michael Brantley. Astros are paying him 16 million AAV already and he is such an important part of their team. If they know they cannot re-sign Springer, then planting a QO on MB makes sense.
Agreed, and nice assessment of KB’s value. Much like JBJ, it takes two to tango and if teams offered anything then the assumption is the Cubs and BoSox did not see the return value in a trade.
The Human Rain Delay
I know this is a QO article but Im going to pose a different kinda money question here for the board
Does Gary Sanchez and Eddie Rosario get non tendered next year? I think both are really close calls…Yanks large bank account could help them take the plunge but idk…Thoughts……
I don’t see it as “Yankees can afford to pay the player that much.” I see it as “value is value.” If the Yankees think Sanchez won’t beat his projected arb salary in free agency they can always non-tender him them re-sign him.
With that qualifier, I think Rosario definitely gets tendered. Sanchez is borderline.
The Human Rain Delay
I agree it should be value vs value but having deep pockets gives you the luxury to allow slack in the rope –
On 25+ teams Sanchez no doubt isnt tendered next year, we shall see with the Yanks
I was saying Rosario would be a good barometer entering 2021 to see how money really weighs before the season, I think he still is a good measuring stick- Im passing if Im Minny………..Kiri Time on the clock
Having deep pockets doesn’t mean paying a guy more just to pay him more when you can get him for less. If 25+ teams wouldn’t pay him what he’s projected to get in arb they also wouldn’t pay him that if he was a free agent. It’s not like the Yankees’ FO doesn’t realize this.
But having deep pockets does mean that if you’re not sure, you don’t risk someone else signing him.
@stymeedone you could reframe that and say that because the Yankees have deep pockets, they can more easily afford to replace him if someone else does sign him.
This is an unconscionable sum. No player is worth that. None. In any sport. Maybe if these outrageous salaries were reigned in, a family of 4 could actually afford to go to games. Baseball has become a rich person’s sport, which is diametrically opposed to what baseball began as and is supposed to be. Salaries should be capped at 10 million per season. Even that sum is crazy for 162 days of work 3 hours per day if that. At the very least, salaries should be tied to performance. A lot of these guys seriously cash in and then check out.
You do realize that most teams have Dynamic Pricing with $5 ticket nights and that you aren’t required to buy anything inside the ballpark, right? (With some restrictions, some places even let you bring in your own food.) Add in ticket fees and transportation/parking costs, and it’s only $15-$20 per person, which isn’t bad for a night out.
I find that most fans that complain about the cost of a game, generally don’t consider a mid-week game against weaker competition. If it is a family of four situation, go on a Wednesday night against Baltimore. It’ll be more exciting for the kids, since you are more likely to win, and it won’t interfere with weekend plans, and you don’t have to worry about parking.
Given the massive payroll cuts that are sure to happen this offseason, this is by far the most player friendly qualifying offer amount we’ve had yet and likely may ever have. Most of the guys who do receive such a QO should strongly consider taking it.
Qualifying Offers and compensation for losing a free agent should be eliminated. When a player earns his free agency there should be no strings attached that in anyway restricts what he gets. As is, teams can control their players for six seasons, and have the ability to extend them without competition during those years. Eliminate the restrictions.
I agree… I believe once a player fulfills his contract obligation to a team then that should be it.
As I mentioned earlier, I would change it to a restricted free agency where a player can file for restricted free agency a year early. It would eliminate (at least in my opinion) two sticking points for the next CBA which is going to be service time and qualifying offers since both restrict players earning ability.
It’s a CBA. Eliminate the QO, and the players would have to make an offsetting concession.
I’d go so far as to suggest that we have an enhanced QO system, where every FA has some value for the losing team. A Type-A costs a team a #1, Type-B costs nothing, but gets the losing club an additional #3, Type C gets the losing club an additional #5, etc.
Base the Type designation on salary.
Got to think Semien would accept the QO if he got one. One-year deal to bounce back and avoid this depressed market, plus it would get rid of his one career QO that way he hits market unencumbered in 21-22.
I believe he would in a heart beat as well but I’m not sure the A’s have the wiggle room to offer 19.8 million to a player.
The A’s rarely spend over 100 million, have a handful of guys reaching free agency and have several up for arbitration, most notably Matt Chapman.
Yeah, a non-A’s team would jump at the chance to get a good shortstop on a relatively affordable 1-year deal, but that would be like 20% of their payroll, doesn’t really make sense for Oakland.
I agree, but now they have to ask whether 2019 was the outlier or 2020? Or is he realistically more of the player he was in 2018: very good overall, but not worth $20M? If we were talking the Cubs, Dodgers, or Yankees, I’d say they take a chance on him and offer a QO. With the A’s, I think they pass and let him walk.
As for Semien, I think his true normal is around a 5-6 WAR player, not as good as 2019, but much better than 2020 and slightly better than 2018. Guess we’ll find out.
Beane’s comments on Semien were along the line of “we want to give him a QO, but with the revenue loss we don’t know,” which seems like he’s serving notice on the owner that he wants him back.