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Wednesday, October 13, 2021

Qualifying Offer Value Set At $18.4MM

This year’s qualifying offer will be worth $18.4MM, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney reports (via Twitter).  This represents a drop from last year’s $18.9MM figure, and the second time in the history of the qualifying offer that the value has declined from the previous season.  The QO was worth $17.8MM in the 2019-20 offseason, slightly below the $17.9MM price tag for the winter of 2018-19.

The qualifying offer is recalculated annually, as it is determined by averaging the salaries of the 125 highest-paid players in baseball.  The $500K drop from last year therefore looks like a reflection of the slower market of the 2020-21 offseason, as several teams spent less in the wake of reported and claimed revenue losses from the pandemic.

Still, the lower figure still counts as a surprise, as the general feeling was that the QO would end up rising to somewhere in the $19-$20MM range for the coming offseason.

MLBTR has QO locks as: Carlos Correa, Freddie Freeman, Clayton Kershaw, Robbie Ray, Carlos Rodón, Corey Seager, Marcus Semien, Trevor Story

Likely: Michael Conforto, Jon Gray, Yusei Kikuchi, Eduardo Rodríguez, Noah Syndergaard, Chris Taylor, Justin Verlander

Possible: Brandon Belt, Anthony DeSclafani, Raisel Iglesias, Charlie Morton

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 13, 2021 at 10:05 AM | 11 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: qualifying offer

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   1. JRVJ Posted: October 13, 2021 at 02:05 PM (#6046104)
This is pretty self evident, but $500K is not nothing and will surely tilt a couple of organizations into offering QOs, especially in the so-called "Likely" category
   2. villageidiom Posted: October 13, 2021 at 02:39 PM (#6046112)
I was thinking the CBA expires before the QO would matter, but I was wrong. The CBA is effective through December 1. The QO period is well before that.
   3. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: October 13, 2021 at 02:51 PM (#6046115)
This is pretty self evident, but $500K is not nothing and will surely tilt a couple of organizations into offering QOs, especially in the so-called "Likely" category

I have a hard time believing that valuations are that precise, and budgets that tight, that a <3% change will affect decisions.
   4. Moses Taylor hashes out the rumpus Posted: October 13, 2021 at 02:53 PM (#6046117)
Possible: Brandon Belt, Anthony DeSclafani, Raisel Iglesias, Charlie Morton

What now? Morton already agreed on an extension for next year (1yr/$20mil) that also has an option for 2023.
   5. Howie Menckel Posted: October 13, 2021 at 03:18 PM (#6046126)
Thor already has said "I hope I get a qualifying offer" - generally a tipoff that such a move would be an overbid, lol.

Conforto will get one, though.
   6. JRVJ Posted: October 13, 2021 at 03:22 PM (#6046127)
3, it's not just the fact that the QO went down by $500K.

It's that it didn't go UP, so to the extent that franchises were pricing in and increase, it never happened.
   7. Nasty Nate Posted: October 13, 2021 at 03:24 PM (#6046130)
Likely: Michael Conforto, Jon Gray, Yusei Kikuchi, Eduardo Rodríguez, Noah Syndergaard, Chris Taylor, Justin Verlander
One or more of this group would accept it, right?
   8. Darren Posted: October 13, 2021 at 03:25 PM (#6046131)
Likely: Michael Conforto, Jon Gray, Yusei Kikuchi, Eduardo Rodríguez, Noah Syndergaard, Chris Taylor, Justin Verlander


These three seem like they should be moved down a level. Who wants to pay Kikuchi $18MM? Syndergaard and Verlander have combined for 9 IP in the past 2 years.
   9. mathesond Posted: October 13, 2021 at 04:07 PM (#6046140)
Meanwhile, Blue Jays fans are debating whether they team should give Steven Matz a QO.
   10. JRVJ Posted: October 13, 2021 at 04:16 PM (#6046142)
8, Verlander for sure is getting a QO.

Houston needs draft picks, so if Verlander moves, they get one (and if he doesn't move, great, a HoF level pitcher for $18.4MM / 1 year).
   11. Walt Davis Posted: October 13, 2021 at 05:05 PM (#6046150)
Freeman is going to be an interesting one to watch. (Not the QO decision, that's obvious.) He's turning 32 and if this was 10 years ago, you'd just pencil him in for 5 years and probably $28-30 M. But teams are more wary about some of those ages now (except the Angels! :-) He'll probably get 5/$150 or something anyway but maybe he'll end up taking something structured like JDM's contract -- say, 30/30/25/20/20 with opt-outs after each of the first 3 years.

Verlander -- I suspect they'll QO him too but it's hardly a slam dunk for the reason pointed out -- he hasn't pitched for 2 years and is coming off surgery. He may not bounce back and, even if he does, it may take him half a season to get all the way back and even after he's all the way back, you probably want to limit him to 5 innings. 75 innings of a HoF-level starter is probably still close enough to $18 M. Anyway, assuming he likes Hou and would like to win, he takes it ... hard to imagine anybody is offering multiple years at this point, maybe somebody will beat $18, maybe even by a fair bit, but the man's already made $260 M, 1/$25 vs 1/$18 isn't much of an incentive.

Noah will take it -- even if he thinks somebody will make a decent multi-year offer, he needs to re-establish value to get big money. A healthy, mediocre but solid peripherals Zack Wheeler got 5/$120 (and has done great) so a healthy Thor should be looking at more than that after 2022. Or at least I wonder what the over/under is ... if his agent is confident he can get 3/$50, pass on the QO? He'd be FA again at 32.

Kikuchi has options but it confuses me. There are 4 "1-year" options at $16.5 M but the phrasing at Cot's is "until third day after end of 2021 World Series, Mariners may exercise four 1-year options at $16.5M annually through 2025." Does that mean they have to either exercise 4 or none? But if so, why would they be called "1-year options"? So I assume they can pick and choose how many they exercise but any they don't exercise now are gone. If that's the case, obviously they exercise one more option rather than make the QO. If they decline all 4 options, Kikuchi has a $13 M player option which he might well take. (I suppose it's possible the Ms could decline all 4 because they don't want him, he declines his option, then they make the QO hoping he doesn't accept and they eventually will get a near-useless draft pick -- seems like a silly risk to take.)

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