See updates on Qualifying offers at the end of this story. Monday, November 6.
Monday at 5 p.m. ET is the deadline for Major League Baseball teams to make qualifying offers to their potential free agent players if they want to receive draft pick compensation when they sign with other teams. Five days after the end of the World Series, Monday is also the day that teams have to either exercise or decline team options for players for the 2018 season.
For the Detroit Tigers, there’s nothing to see here. The Tigers have verdicts on their two players with club options. Ian Kinsler’s $11 million option vested with his 600th plate appearance in September, and Anibal Sanchez’s $16 million option was declined earlier this week. The Tigers don’t have any other players with expiring contracts, and they probably won’t be buying any high priced free agents this winter.
While the amount of the qualifying offer is up only slightly over last season, from $17.2 million to $17.4 million, changes in the new collective bargaining agreement (CBA) will result in fewer players receiving qualifying offers. A record 20 players received offers during the 2015-2016 offseason, and that number was halved last winter. The number figures to be lower still this offseason.
The compensation scheme has changed under the terms of the new CBA. A team that was over the luxury tax for the 2017 season would only receive a supplemental fourth round draft pick if they make a qualifying offer and the player signs with another team.
Players who have received a qualifying offer previously during their careers, and players who were traded during the season are not eligible to receive a qualifying offer this winter. This means Yu Darvish, J.D. Martinez, and Jay Bruce, among others, will not receive a qualifying offer.
Here are the players who will likely receive a qualifying offer on Monday.
Kansas City Royals: Mike Moustakas, Eric Hosmer, and Lorenzo Cain
Chicago Cubs: Jake Arrieta, Wade Davis
St. Louis Cardinals: Lance Lynn
Colorado Rockies: Greg Holland
The Royals, Cardinals, and Rockies are all revenue sharing recipients. None of them were above the luxury tax threshold in 2017, so they would receive a supplemental first round draft pick as compensation if their free agent were to sign a contract with another club worth at least $50 million. They would receive a supplemental second round draft pick if the player signed for less than $50 million. The Cubs are a revenue sharing payer, so they would receive a supplemental second round pick regardless of the size of the contract.
Players who might be offered
Cincinnati Reds: Zack Cozart
Tampa Bay Rays: Alex Cobb
Cleveland Indians: Carlos Santana
Texas Rangers: Carlos Gomez
Gomez is questionable because of a recent history of injuries, while the other three in this category play for teams who are not in the habit of paying $17.4 million salaries. While each of those players will likely get a more lucrative multi-year contract this winter, the qualifying offer may stifle interest or scare them into accepting the qualifying offer, fearing that the compensation may be a deterrent to teams from signing them.
Clubs, on the other hand, might be more reluctant to make qualifying offers than they have been in seasons past, since five players have accepted the offers over the past two seasons. While teams are no longer penalized by losing a first round draft pick for signing an elite free agent who has declined a qualifying offer, they can still lose multiple draft picks and up to $1 million in international bonus money for doing so.
We will update this post with the names that receive qualifying offers on Monday.
Jon Heyman reports (via MLBtraderumors.com) that the Rays are expected to make a qualifying offer to Alex Cobb
Heyman reports that the Reds will not make a qualifying offer to Zack Cozart
The Rangers will not make a qualifying offer to pitcher Andrew Cashner, per Heyman
The Royals will make a qualifying offer to Eric Hosmer, per Rotoworld on Twitter
Jordan Bastian reports that the Inidans are likely to make a QO to Carlos Santana
Chris Cotillo at SB Nation has tweeted the same expected QO list as we have above: Arrieta, Cain, Cobb, Davis, Holland, Hosmer, Lynn, Moustakas, Santana. These are not formal announcements, however.
The Cardinals have made a qualifying offer to Lance Lynn, per MLBTR
Rotoworld is reporting that the Cubs extended one-year, $17.4 million qualifying offers to RHP Jake Arrieta and closer Wade Davis.
The Royals have extended qualifying offers, as expected, to Lorenzo Cain and Mike Moustakas according to Rotoworld.
The Rockies have made a qualifying offer to closer Greg Holland, per Rotoworld. Holland had earlier declined a player option for $ 15 million.