Not exactly breaking news for those among us capable of performing basic arithmetic BUT it looks as though all eight of the remaining free agents to receive qualifying offers from their teams last week will shout NEIN! and head for the free agent hills.
The only FA who will not have rejected the qualifying offer is David Ortiz, who re-signed with the Sox late last week. The official deadline to accept/reject offers is 5pm EST Friday but nearly all decisions are known publicly as agents and general managers continuously hold court in Indian Wells. MLB Trade Rumors, of course, is your one-stop shop.
Rafael Soriano — who turned down a $14 million dollar option before opting for free agency, making his rejection of the $13.3 million dollar qualifying offer academic — will hit the free agent market with dollar signs in his eyes. Nick Swisher and Josh Hamilton went “public” with their contract “demands” and both numbers exceeding $13.3 mil by some distance.
The two most “marginal” free agents to receive offers, Kyle Lohse and Adam LaRoche, will both reject $13.3 million dollar offers of guaranteed money. LaRoche posted a career high in home runs and won a Silver Slugger in a walk year, which is nothing if not convenient. Lohse also heads into free agency with a career-best season in his wake, posting a career high in innings at the same time as posting career low ERA and FIP isn’t a bad way to walk into a payday.
Center fielders Michael Bourn and B.J. Upton indicate they will test the free market, rejecting the offers extended each of their ways which nets their clubs (Atlanta and Tampa Bay, respectively) a draft pick. The ever-valuable, game changing draft pick.
Provided Hiroki Kuroda turns down his qualifying offer (and all signs point to him doing so), the New York Yankees will have three extra first round draft picks this coming June. The Yankees. Three extra picks. Which, I’m sure, is exactly what the authors of the CBA had in mind when they cooked up this half-baked scheme. Nothing like bureaucrats to take something which already seemed as screwed up as possible and find a way to screw it up more.