Saturday, November 7, 2015

Deciphering & Predicting the MLB Qualifying Offers

SD - Ian Kennedy

Kennedy is no longer the 20 game winner he was with the Arizona Diamondbacks but he's a good enough pitcher to decline the is qualifying offer and not think twice about it. Kennedy, the former Yankees prospect, will not regret it either. 

SD - Justin Upton

Upton fits the same mold as Kennedy in my opinion. He isn't a 30 home run threat anymore but he's an essential lock for 20-25 home runs and 100 RBI in the right lineup. Upton is on the right side of 30-years old and will likely receive the biggest contract of his career to date this offseason. That all starts with the decline of the qualifying offer. 

TEX - Yovani Gallardo

Gallardo fits the borderline mold of accepting or declining the qualifying offer, although I'm leaning towards him declining. Gallardo isn't an ace but he is an essential lock for 180+ innings and at least a 2.0+ WAR. That's not one-year deal material, he declines ultimately. 

SEA - Hisashi Iwakuma

Iwakuma actually wants to stay in Seattle, reportedly, or at least on the West Coast as close to his home land of Japan as possible. At 34-years old, 35-years old shortly after the 2016 season begins, Iwakuma may opt to take the almost double amount of salary on a one-year deal to stick in Seattle and close to home. ACCEPT. 

WAS - Ian Desmond

Desmond struggled for much of the 2015 season but he has the ability to be a plus offensive weapon at shortstop, traditionally an offensive anemic position. Desmond will reject the offer and some team will give Desmond a good contract, either as a shortstop or a second baseman. 

WAS - Jordan Zimmermann

Zimmermann is likely the best pitcher on the market, he denies it and cashes in huge. 

TOR – Marco Estrada

Estrada had a breakout season in 2015 and seems unlikely to accept a contract offer. Truth be told I’m not sure if anyone expects Estrada to replicate his 2015 season in 2016 and beyond, looking at his stat page it looks to be more of the exception than the rule, but there will be a few teams willing to go three years or longer on him leaving the decision to decline the offer an easy one to make.

CHW – Jeff Samardzija

Samardzija will most definitely decline the offer. When teams like the New York Yankees and Boston Red Sox desperately need top of the rotation type pitchers and are willing to bank on his live arm while ignoring the stats you will sign more than one year and $15.8 million.

KC – Alex Gordon

Alex is fresh off a World Series victory and is coming from a team where he could boast that he was one of the main and better offensive contributors on the team. Gordon, along with Mike Moustakas and Eric Hosmer, led the Royals offense to two consecutive World Series trips and to one World Series title making his decision to decline the offer an obvious one in my opinion.

STL – Jayson Heyward

Heyward is potentially looking at 10-years and $200 million or more. He’s the most obvious player to decline the offer in my opinion.

STL – John Lackey

Lackey is a man of his word and pitched without making trouble for only $500K this season with the St. Louis Cardinals. The raise from $500K to $15.8 million is a substantial one and I think it is one that Lackey will make when he is the first ever to accept a qualifying offer.

CHC- Dexter Fowler

This one I am truly on the fence about. I want to say that Fowler declines the offer but a part of me, maybe a gut feeling, believes he accepts the offer. The other 29 teams won’t be exactly beating down his door to sign him, not that he’s a bad player by any means, especially at an AAV approaching $16 million. Am I allowed to call for a push?

NYM- Daniel Murphy

Murphy went from the goat of the New York Mets to the G.O.A.T of the Mets in about eight at bats this postseason. He’s declining that offer and some sucker will sign him expecting similar results, look at the regular season and postseason splits for Pablo Sandoval and look at the contract the Boston Red Sox gave him. He declines.

BAL – Matt Wieters

Wieters is an interesting case. Wieters missed a significant chunk of time in 2014 and 2015 after having Tommy John surgery and never truly recovered from it in my opinion. His defense and specifically his ability to limit would-be base stealers has decreased along with his offensive production. About the only thing working in Wieters favor though is the fact that the catching position is basically anemic offensively across the league with a few obvious exceptions. Wieters will likely decline the offer and will likely land a modest deal in the neighborhood of three years but one thing we know for 100% fact, Wieters will not go to the New York Yankees as Buck Showalter predicted. I just love bringing up instances of Showalter being wrong, don’t mind me.

BAL – Chris Davis

Chris Davis led the world in home runs in 2015 putting to sleep all the rumors, allegations and questions regarding his power and output after being suspended for illegal drug use in 2014. Davis was suspended for Adderall use in 2014 and responded in a big way in 2015. No way he accepts it, Davis is going to get paid for every single one of those home runs he hit this season and then some.

BAL – Wei-Yin Chen

Chen is not an ace. Chen is left-handed and likely a middle-of-the-rotation type starter for most American League teams. The thing working in Chen’s favor though is that he’s been the ace for the Baltimore Orioles for two seasons now and is American League East and postseason tested. That alone will net him more than one year and $15.8 million. He’ll likely get a deal somewhere in the neighborhood of 5-years and $85 million in my opinion so he will decline.

HOU- Colby Rasmus

When I predicted the qualifying offers on the blog before the season officially ended one of my Twitter followers actually called me an idiot for saying that Rasmus would get one. He didn’t use those exact words, and I’m not going to quote it because they don’t deserve the attention for being a douche bag but I didn’t delete the tweet so it’s out there somewhere if you want to look hard enough, but it was something along the lines of “only an idiot would think Rasmus deserves a qualifying offer.” Well there’s at least two idiots in the world, me and the owner of the Astros. Rasmus would be an idiot to decline it, but he’s an idiot and will (he’s not an idiot, I was being tongue in cheek to stick with the “idiot” theme).

LAD – Zack Greinke

So let me get this straight, he opts out of his deal worth three years and $71 million to accept a qualifying offer? No one really thought that, did they? He declines and receives a Clayton Kershaw-esque deal. Just not from the Yankees.

LAD – Howie Kendrick

Kendrick plays a position that is dryer than the Nevada desert in the middle of the day in July offensively. Kendrick, as far as this free agent class goes anyway, is the Babe Ruth of second baseman so there is no way he accepts the qualifying offer. No way.

LAD- Brett Anderson

Another one I caught flak about when I predicted him receiving a qualifying offer and another one notched in the victory belt for the Greedy Pinstripes. Anderson has a live arm, he always has, and finally put it all together on the mound and in the training room. Anderson will try and bank on the fact, literally, that he had a contract season and he absolutely should. Anderson declines and some team, maybe even the Dodgers, signs him to a longer term deal around three years or so. 

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