Free agency is underway, and just before it officially began, teams made 13 players qualifying offers.
If a player accepts a $14.1 million qualifying offer from his old team, he’s considered signed. He has a week to accept the offer. If a player signs elsewhere, teams that made qualifying offers receive a compensatory pick at the end of the first round of next June’s draft.
The player can work out a long-term deal with his team, too.
Boston extended qualifying offers to Stephen Drew, Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Napoli, New York’s offers went to Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson and Hiroki Kuroda.
Others who received qualifying offers were Cincinnati’s Shin-Soo Choo, Atlanta’s Brian McCann, Cleveland’s Ubaldo Jimenez, Kansas City’s Ervin Santana, St.Louis’ Carlos Beltran, Seattle’s Kendrys Morales and Texas’ Hector Cruz.
Not surprisingly, the Orioles did not make qualifying offers to any of their free agents.
Teams signing the 13 players will surrender a high draft pick, though the top 10 choices can’t be lost.
If a team wants to sign Cano, Ellsbury or Granderson, they’ll most likely not be deterred by losing a draft pick. For others, it may serve as a deterrent.
Last year, it probably depressed the market for the Nationals’ Adam LaRoche and for Kyle Lohse, who didn’t sign with Milwaukee until late in spring training.
It will be interesting to see if the Orioles feel that Choo, Kuroda, Santana, Beltran and Morales, players that could intrigue the Orioles, are worth losing a first-round draft pick for.
NOTES: Chris Davis lost out to Miguel Cabrera in Monday night’s Player Choice awards. Davis was a finalist for both the American League’s Outstanding Player and the Player of the Year.