Qualifying Offers: 12 extended, will anyone accept?

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The deadline for teams to extend one-year $15.3 million qualifying offers to players came and went on Monday. In all 12 players were extended qualifying offers.

In the now third year of the existance of qualifying offers not a single soon-to-be free agent has ever accepted a qualifying offer. These offers are meant to help out players, ensuring them work for a fair price the following season and keeping them from, well, in sense, what happened last year.

Last season 13 qualifying offers were extended and all were denied in order to explore the free agent market. This left them and whatever team that signed them forced to give a top draft pick to the players’ former team as compensation. (In a previous post I explain the exact nature of what qualifying offers are and how they work.)

Teams are not fond of giving up draft picks especially their top pick so essientially these players were seen as “having the draft pick hanging over their heads.” Sure some were certainly signed by other teams. Robinson Cano and Shin Soo-Choo both got big, long-term deals with the Seattle Mariners and the Texas Rangers both happy to forfeit a draft pick for their services.

Other players were not signed until mid-March to deals similar to what they would have recieved if they’d accepted their team’s qualifying offer in the first place. Stephen Drew and Kendrys Morales were not signed until after the 2014 First Year Player Draft in June, ending up with a salary prorated for the months that they had missed.

So the majority of the 13 players etended offers after the 2013 season didn’t end up with the big free agent deals that they expected when they initially declined the qualifying offer from their 2012 team. Will that change any of the players’ minds this season?

We’ll find out but probably not for the next week. The players have until  5 p.m. ET on Nov. 10 to accept or decline their offer. No one knows what these players are thinking. I predicted in an earlier post that Yankees reliever David Robertson could be the first player in history to accept a qualifying offer.

Besides Robertson, here is a list of the other players who were extended qualifying offers in 2014:

James Shields (Royals)
Michael Cuddyer (Rockies)
Max Scherzer (Tigers)
Victor Martinez (Tigers)
Ervin Santana (Braves)
Hanley Ramirez (Dodgers)
Pablo Sandoval (Giants)
Melky Cabrera (Blue Jays)
Francisco Liriano (Pirates)
Russell Martin (Pirates)
David Robertson (Yankees)
Nelson Cruz (Orioles)

What happens next is up to them. Given that I have written two posts recently on the subject, I for one, can’t wait to see what happens over the next week.


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