Updated: Nov 21, 2020
Today on the blog, we will talk about a Qualifying offer, those who are eligible or not, and if I think they will take it or decline.
What is a Qualifying offer or QO?
A QO is a one-year 18.9MIL contract that if the player accepts, he returns to his team. If he declines, then he is a free agent, and his team gets draft pick compensation. Ninety players have received a QO, and only eight have accepted it. Two of those were last winter when Jose Abreu and Jake Odorizzi.
Those who can't get a QO:
A couple of ways that a player doesn't qualify for QO. 1) If they have received on in Free Agency Previously. 2)Players who were traded during the season.
Previously got a QO:
OF- Marcell Ozuna-Braves, DH Nelson Cruz- Twins, DH Edwin Encarnacion- White Sox, 3B Justin Turner- Dodgers, P Jake Arrieta- Phillies, P Jeff Samardzija- Giants, P Jordan Zimmerman- Tigers, P Ian Kennedy Royals, 1B Carlos Santana- Indians, 1B Daniel Murphy- the Rockies, IF Howie Kendrick- Nationals, OF Shin-Soo Choo- Rangers, P
Traded in 2020:
Mike Minor- A's, P Robbie Rays- Blue Jays, P Taijuan Walker- Blue Jays, IF Jonathan Villar- Blue Jays, IF Tommy La Stella-A's, OF Kevin Pillar- the Rockies, C Jason Castro- Padres
We already know some of these names had their team options declined like Murphy, and Kendrick's mutual option hasn't come to a decision. We don't know about Encarnacion's club option as of me writing this on 10/29.
Those who will get a QO but most likely decline:
C- J.T. Realmuto- Phillies, I do not think that Realmuto will accept the QO as he is by far the best Cather on the Market. Realmuto is expected to listen to the Phillies offer(s), of course, as he has said he wants to return to the organization. But money talks, and it will talk to Realmuto, but he will give the Phillies every chance to sign him, I believe. I think this comes down to the Yankees or Phillies winning Realmuto.Update 11/1- QO extended
IF- DJ LeMahieu- Yankees, coming off a season where he won the AL batting title. LeMahieu, who is 32, still has plenty to offer a team as a player who can play Gold Glove defense at 1B, 2B, and 3B. The Yankees will want LeMahieu back but look for him to sign with a contender. Padres, Cardinals, Cubs, Reds, Brewers, Indians, Phillies, and Nationals as my favorite teams to land him. Update: QO extended 11/1
OF- George Springer- Astros, I feel like I have been talking a lot about Springer, but he has said he doesn't want to return to the Astros. Springer will want to go to a team where he is the face, the star, and the team. He also wants to win, and that will affect where he lands. I like the fit with the Marlins, Giants, Mets, RedSox, Angels, Cubs, and Blue Jays as my favorite landing spots. Updated: QO extended 11/1
P- Trevor Bauer- Reds- He has the whole Market as he is the top pitcher available. He is being linked to all 30 teams. I will follow as the Market takes shape for Bauer. The Padres are my top choice for Bauer. Update: QO extended 11/1
P- Kevin Gausman- Giants- Had a QO extended to him on 11/1. After posting an 11.9K9 in 2020. Gausman turns 30 in January and should still see a strong market this winter.
Players who can Opt-out but most likely won't but will get QO if they did:
OF/DH- Nick Castellanos- Reds, Castellanos has an opt-out in 2020 and 2021. But after an awful 2020 that saw him post a 102OPS+ and -5 Outs above average. I can't see him possibly opting out right now. Update: He accepted his 2021 option for $14MIL
OF/DH- Giancarlo Stanton- Yankees, with 218MIl, left on his deal and two injuries plagued seasons. I don't see Stanton getting nearly as much as he is due if he opts-out.
OF/DH- J.D. Martinez- RedSox, a sad 81OPS+ and limited defender. I don't see the slugger leaving the rest of his 38.7MIL he has left due to him over the next two seasons. Update 10/31- He did exercise his option and will stay with the Red Sox through 2022
Players who will get one and could accept or deny:
P- Marcus Stroman- Mets, the Mets will more than likely give Stroman a QO, and I think he will accept. He didn't throw a single pitch in 2020, and the Market will not be wanting to pay him top dollar for an SP who may still have lingering issues. I think the Mets offer, and Stroman accepts to rebuild his value. UPDATE 11/1- Stroman did receive a QO
P- Masahiro Tanaka- Yankees, The Market for SP is thin after Bauer. Tanaka has been an excellent SP for the last seven years. The Yankees has Paxton and Happ, both free agents as well. I think the Yankees offer and can get a 2-3 year deal out of it.
SS- Didi Gregorius- Phillies, with a slash line of .284/.339/.488 and a 119OPS+ and 12% strikeout rate. With the Phillies trying to re-sign Realmuto and not wanting to pay Didi more than his previous salary of $14MIL, they have Jean Segura and Scott Kingery play SS while Alec Bohm is the plan at 3B until Harper can't play the OF. I don't think the Phillies offer him a contract, and he becomes a free agent and gets signed by the Yankees, Mets, Cardinals, Brewers, Angels, D-Backs as my shortlist of fits for Didi.
SS- Marcus Semien- Athletics, after a season where Semiens OPS+ dropped to a 91 after 2019, where he posted a 139OPS+. With the 2021 SS market being loaded with talent- Correa, Story, Seager, Lindor, and Baez. Semien will be looking to find a long term home. I like the fit with the Rays, Giants, Angels, Reds, Brewers, Phillies, Rockies as my top picks for the SS.
P- Liam Hendricks- Athletics, with almost 7x as many strikeouts as walks the last two seasons and a 1.78ERA and winning the AL Reliever of Year Award in 2020. He is deserving of a salary bump from the 5.4MIL he made in 2020. I doubt the A's want to commit so much to Hendricks, so I don't think he will receive a QO. But I think the A's will do whatever they can to resign Hendricks to a contact in the ranger of 7-10MIL per year. I also like the fit with the Rays, Braves, Padres, White Sox, Twins, and Mariners.
SS- Andrelton Simmons- Angels, playing in only 30 games in 2020 and sitting out the last 5. We can't put much weight on the numbers for Simmons. But the Angels will not want to pay Simmons 18.9MIL for the lack of commitment he had and the injuries. With a loaded market in 2022, the Angels could use David Fletcher at SS in 2021. They need to focus on pitching for now, and they won't be offering a QO to Simmons.
OF/DH- Michael Brantley- Astros, the Market for Brantley, should be healthy. With a slash line from the last two years of .309/.370/.497 and showing his value as the Indians had the 2nd-worst OF offense in baseball in the previous two years. The Astros will not want to make the same mistake of not extending a QO to Brantley as the Indians did. With the Astros Springer and Reddick to Free Agency. The Astros will need to keep Brantley. I know they will extend the QO, but I think he will accept him, and the Astros will work out a 2-3 year extension.
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Players who will probably not get an offer:
If they got the offer, most of the players would take it, but none of them are genuinely worth the 18.9MIL
C-James McCann- White Sox- Will sign as a backup somewhere with a young catcher.
C-Yadier Molina- Cardinals- Will return to the Cardinals on a much cheaper deal for the two years he wants.
OF- Jackie Bradley Jr. - Red Sox- I think Boston resigns him as he is a needed piece for the Red Sox to stay competitive. I also think Rays, Marlins, Cardinals, Indians, Giants, Phillies, Mets, Nationals, Angels, D-Backs.
OF- Joc Pederson- Dodgers, will not return to the Dodgers. The same teams as above will be in play for Pederson and Twins as they almost landed the OF in the Betts trade.
OF- Josh Reddick- Astros, I think Reddick will not resign with the Astros. I think a reunion with the A's is logical. The same teams as Pederson, Bradley Jr will also be a fit for Reddick.
P- James Paxton- Yankees, coming off injuries in 2019 and 2020, the SP will need to take a one year deal to rebuild value. I think Mets, Rays, Padres, Braves, A's, Angels, Red Sox, and D-Backs as the best fits for Paxton.
P- Jose Quintana- Cubs- Same teams as Paxton but the Cubs will resign Quintana to a cheaper deal.
P- Blake Treinen- Dodgers, after a strong postseason. Treinen is set to get paid by a team in need of RP. Treinen will want to play for a contender. Think Rays, Padres, Dodgers, Braves, Marlins, and White Sox to play for Treinen.
P- Alex Colome- White Sox, Colome had a fantastic season and is in the same boat as Treinen as a top option in the free-agent RP market. Same teams, same story as Treinen.
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