Tuesday, October 13, 2015

How Will Qualifying Offers Affect Yankees Free Agency Plans?

With the qualifying offer number set at $15.8 million and a laundry list of players that I predicted to receive said qualifying offer earlier today I wanted to take a stab at whether those offers would affect the Yankees free agency plans for 2016. Usually you can use the past as an indicator or a stepping stone for the future but honestly that won't help us here. Before the 2014 season the team wen't crazy on the free agent market surrendering draft picks for Brian McCann, Carlos Beltran and Jacoby Ellsbury while last year the team stockpiled draft picks in an effort to jump start and rebuild the farm system.

The Yankees are barely a season removed from their international haul that cost them $30 million for a crew of 16-year old international free agents and the team is also less than six months removed from adding James Kaprielian, Kyle Holder, Jeff Degano and others to the farm from the MLB Draft. With this season's free agency crop as deep as it has been in recent memory this may be the season that proves to be the first free agent market that's worth mortgaging the future for, especially with the Yankees picking at the end of the first round once again in the 2016 Draft. Below is a list of players that I feel like will receive a qualifying offer and the bolded players are players I believe the Yankees will be interested in, not necessarily sign.

LHP Wei-Yin Chen - Baltimore Orioles
1B/DH Chris Davis - Baltimore Orioles
C Matt Wieters - Baltimore Orioles
OF Jason Heyward - St. Louis Cardinals
RHP Jeff Samardzija - Chicago White Sox
OF Dextor Fowler - Chicago Cubs
RHP Zack Greinke - Los Angeles Dodgers (if he opts out)
OF Alex Gordon - Kansas City Royals (if he declines his player option worth $12.5 million)
RHP Hisashi Iwakuma - Seattle Mariners (They want him back anyway)
RHP John Lackey - St. Louis Cardinals
OF Justin Upton - San Diego Padres
RHP Jordan Zimmerman - Washington Nationals
LHP Brett Anderson - Los Angeles Dodgers
INF Ian Desmond - Washington Nationals
INF Daniel Murphy - New York Mets
OF Colby Rasmus - Houston Astros

The Yankees will not receive any draft compensation for their free agents this season, Stephen Drew, Chris Capuano and Chris Young, so any players signed that are attached to draft pick compensation will negatively affect the future of the farm system in my opinion. With that said I think the Yankees could target a David Price, a Mike Leake, a Ben Zobrist or a Johnny Cueto and avoid the draft pick compensation or the team may give up a pick for Justin Upton or Jordan Zimmerman. Other than that it looks like the Yankees will be picking somewhere around the #18-22 position next June for the 2016 MLB First Year Players Draft. There just isn't that's realistic enough to give up a draft pick for. Greinke is not coming to the Bronx, Zimmerman probably isn't either and Heyward is just a pipe dream that I will hold onto all offseason long.

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)