Which Pitchers are Getting a Qualifying Offer this Offseason?

Last week, we took a look at the upcoming free agent hitters that may or may not be tendered a qualifying offer by their current teams. I’m going to borrow the intro that I used in that post, so if you read that piece, just go ahead and skip down to the discussion of the pitchers.

For some background, Jeff Sullivan wrote up an explanation of the Qualifying Offer process last year, but the nuts and bolts are pretty simple: for teams with free agents to be who have been on their roster all season, they can make them an offer for one year equal to the average salary of the Top 125 paid players in MLB, and then the player has one week to explore their market and decide whether to accept the offer from their current team or continue on in free agency with draft pick compensation attached.

Last year, the qualifying offer was equal to $13.3 million, and teams tendered it to nine players: David Ortiz, Josh Hamilton, B.J. Upton, Hiroki Kuroda, Rafael Soriano, Nick Swisher, Michael Bourn, Kyle Lohse, and Adam LaRoche. All nine players declined the offer, and in each case, they ended up with better deals than accepting $13.3 million for just one season.

This year, the average is expected to go up slightly, reaching the $14 million mark or something close to it. So, let’s take a look at this free agent class and see who is worth that kind of offer, and since we’ve already covered the hitters, let’s look at the arms this time.

Using the free agent leaderboards, there are three pitchers that I think are pretty obvious candidates to receive the qualifying offer: Hiroki Kuroda, A.J. Burnett, and Ervin Santana. Matt Garza and Ricky Nolasco would join them, but both were traded mid-season and so are not eligible for the qualifying offer. However, it’s the group of pitchers beyond the obvious ones that make for an interesting discussion.

Tim Lincecum, RHP, San Francisco

This is, basically, a referendum on how much stock one puts into ERA versus FIP and xFIP, or at least, the concepts that FIP and xFIP are based on. Over the last two years, Lincecum has thrown 356 innings and posted a 4.85 ERA, which is well below replacement level for an NL starter in a pitcher friendly ballpark. During that same time frame, though, he has a 3.98 FIP and a 3.66 xFIP, both of which are fairly decent marks and suggest that he hasn’t completely lost the skills that made him a two time Cy Young winner earlier in his career.

But he has lost some of them. There’s no arguing that he’s worse now than he was when he was The Freak, and even his peripherals support that idea. Even his 92 xFIP- is just a little bit better than average this year, so if you completely ignore his recent home run and runner stranding problems, he still doesn’t grade out as more than a solid middle-of-the-rotation guy. There’s upside here, but it’s probably not Cy Young upside anymore.

Given the decline in velocity and poor results over the last few years, Lincecum isn’t going to land any kind of mega contract, and he’s probably not going to get a better salary than the $14 million the QO would provide. However, given the shelf lives of pitchers, Lincecum will probably be motivated by years more than AAV, and might even prefer something like 3/30 over 1/14, and even with draft pick compensation attached, I don’t think 3/30 is out of reach for a guy who still has swing-and-miss stuff. There’s not a lot of risk in making Lincecum the offer, as he probably won’t take it, and even if he does, having him back on a one year deal to see if he can fix his problems in San Francisco isn’t a bad gamble.

Conclusion: Make the offer.

Josh Johnson, RHP, Toronto

Nearly everything written above about Lincecum is also true of Josh Johnson. His results in Toronto this year were terrible, but his 3.60 xFIP is actually better than the mark he posted last year in Miami, even though he switched from a pitcher’s park in the NL to a hitter’s park in the AL. And he was good in Miami last year, so his struggles cover just 80 innings pitched, a minimal sample with which to judge a pitcher harshly based on inflated HR/FB and BABIP rates.

But, with Johnson, there’s a significant health question. He hasn’t pitched since August 6th, and he won’t pitch again this season due to soreness in his forearm. This isn’t exactly a new thing for Johnson either, as he’s already had Tommy John surgery, and has missed significant time in his career due to back and shoulder problems, so this forearm soreness seems like part of a bigger trend. This was Johnson’s eighth season on a big league roster, and he’s made 30 starts in just two of those eight years. He’s thrown 200 innings once. Even in the best case scenario, Johnson is probably not worth counting on for a full season, and there’s significant risk that he just gives you nothing at all.

Teams have made big bets on similar health question marks before, and even last winter, there appeared to be some appetite for high base contracts for questionable health guys; Scott Baker got $6 million from the Cubs despite not even pitching last year, and Scott Baker doesn’t have Josh Johnson’s pedigree. However, it’s hard to see another team forfeiting a valuable draft pick for the right to hope that Josh Johnson stays healthy and his 2013 performance wasn’t a warning sign that a total breakdown is on the way.

If the Blue Jays make the qualifying offer, they have to plan on Johnson accepting it. He’s not going to do better than a $14 million guarantee in free agency, not with his health issues and coming off the season he just had. If the Blue Jays don’t believe his forearm soreness is a precursor to eventual surgery, making him the offer and bringing him back for a redemption year on a one year contract probably is a risk worth taking.

However, they know more about his current health than anyone else, and so it would be hard to take them to task for declining to make Johnson the offer. This one is about as close to a toss-up as it gets, and it’s basically impossible to know whether they should make the offer without the medical information, which we don’t have. If the medicals are okay, I’d say make the offer, but there’s a strong argument to just letting him walk and spending the $14 million on healthier pitchers instead.

Conclusion: Make the offer, unless they know that his arm is about to fall off.

Bronson Arroyo, RHP, Cincinnati

And now for something completely different. Bronson Arroyo is the opposite of the high upside/high risk duo that we just talked about, he’s about as much of a known quantity as any pitcher in baseball. He doesn’t walk anyone, he posts a moderate strikeout rate, he’ll give up some home runs, but at the end of the day, he’ll give you 200 league average innings year in and year out. Arroyo has thrown 200 innings in every since since 2004 except for 2011, when he threw 199. He is the perhaps the definition of an innings eater.

However, he’s also going to be 37 next year, $14 million for an aging innings eater is a hefty price tag. Arroyo has made it clear that he’s hunting for a multi-year contract this winter, but if the Reds want to go year to year, the QO is their best shot of getting him back on a one year deal, even if it comes with a bit of a premium in annual salary. It’s unlikely that any other team is going to punt a draft pick to sign a 37 year old with minimal long term value, so if the Reds make the qualifying offer, they’re going to have all the leverage in negotiations, and could potentially offer him something like 2/20 if he’s dead set on getting multiple years.

But, there’s also just the risk that he takes it, and then goes out and has another miserable season like he did in 2011. His good command of fringe stuff skillset isn’t going to work forever, and the Reds aren’t a big market franchise that can afford to pay market value salaries to everyone on their roster. They have enough rotation depth to let him leave, and they could then replace Arroyo internally in order to allocate that money to other positions of need. If we weren’t talking about the Reds, I’d probably lean towards making the offer. Given that they’re going to have some holes to fill and don’t have an endless budget, though, I think they can probably spend $14 million on more pressing needs.

Conclusion: Don’t make the offer.

Jason Vargas, LHP, Anaheim

Like Arroyo, Vargas gets his value mostly from being solid and reliable every five days, rather than dominating anyone with overpowering stuff. The Angels gave up Kendrys Morales to acquire him knowing he’d get $8-$9 million in arbitration (he signed for $8.5M), so they’ve already shown that they value his skillset on a short term deal at a price that isn’t too terribly dissimilar to the qualifying offer range. And their rotation was a disaster this year, so you can imagine they’ll be focusing heavily on trying to make sure they have enough depth to improve in 2014.

However, Vargas did spend two months on the DL this year with a blood clot in his arm pit, which makes it a little bit harder to sell him as a high durability guy. While he’s younger than Arroyo, he doesn’t have the consistent track record of solid average seasons, and his success has all come in pitcher friendly parks on the west coast. Any team that plays in a frequent home run environment would have to think twice about making him a significant offer, and so Vargas’ market as a free agent is likely to be somewhat limited.

However, if the Angels want Vargas back, they might very well be better off making the qualifying offer than trying to re-sign him in a market where draft pick compensation isn’t attached. If a league average innings eater is worth something like $10 million per year, paying a $4 million premium to avoid a multi-year commitment shouldn’t be a budget breaker for a team like Anaheim, and given the long term deals they’ve got on the books, limiting the length of future contracts looks like a pretty good idea.

The Angels have the financial resources to pay a premium to avoid long term risk, and one year of Vargas at $14 million isn’t such a drastic overpay that it’s not worth considering. In the end, though, I think they can probably get him for less than what the QO would tie them to, especially given his DL stint this year. He’s the kind of pitcher that gets something like 2/16 or 3/21, and making the QO takes those kinds of offers off the table. At those kinds of prices, there isn’t a ton of long term risk, and if they think there’s a chance he signs for something in that range, then they should pass on the QO.

Conclusion: Don’t make the offer.

Tim Hudson, RHP, Atlanta

Huddy was having his usual good season for the Braves, though his ERA was a bit inflated because of runner stranding problems, but a broken ankle cost him most of the second half of the season and basically nuked any chance he had of getting the qualifying offer. Now, he’ll head into the off-season as a 38 year old coming off a shortened season with his worst ERA since 2006, and that’s not the kind of player that teams are going to be fighting over, even though he’s still a quality hurler.

Hudson is also geographically tied to the Atlanta area, and so the Braves have more leverage than most free agents in a similar situation. I’d expect him to re-sign, but for a lot less than $14 million.

Conclusion: Don’t make the offer.

Bartolo Colon, RHP, Oakland

Colon has had a career resurgence, and is now on his third straight season of being quite good, so this doesn’t look like a total fluke. That said, he’s going to be 41 next year, he failed a PED test last year, and his strikeout rate is just 13.6%. There are way too many paths for a big contract to Colon to fail miserably, and I doubt the league believes in him enough for the QO to come into play. He’ll get a raise over the $3 million he got last winter, but $14 million is just too high.

Conclusion: Don’t make the offer.

Phil Hughes/Dan Haren/Paul Maholm, Team Disappointment

No. Don’t even think about it.

Conclusion: Don’t make the offer.

Last week, we said seven hitters should get the qualifying offer, so now we add five pitchers from this group, and our overall total is 12 players receiving the QO this year, up from nine last year. And there are definitely enough players on the bubble who could play their way into it over the final month of the season — Mike Napoli might be doing just that with his recent power spike — that we could end up closer to 15 offers this winter.

While this isn’t a great free agent class, it is full of the kind of players where one year deals are a worthwhile risk, so we could see some agents and players forced to make interesting decisions during the first week of the off-season. While no one took the offer last year, I’d expect at least one of the players we’ve forecast to receive the offering to not want to find themselves in Kyle Lohse’s position this winter, and taking the QO might just become a more viable strategy for free agents who want to know they have a job and a good salary for 2014 without having to play a game of musical chairs.




Print This Post



Dave is a co-founder of USSMariner.com and contributes to the Wall Street Journal.


79 Responses to “Which Pitchers are Getting a Qualifying Offer this Offseason?”

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
  1. Chief Keef says:

    I still don’t see why the Red Sox wouldn’t make the offer to Stephen Drew. The shortstop market is incredibly weak, Boras tends to be very aggressive turning down offers for borderline clients, and even if he accepts the Red Sox could eat $2m or so and have a trade asset on their hands. The only argument against is their current talent (Middlebrooks, Xander, etc.) but that seems like a poor excuse. They have the money to spend and retaining depth and options while making a play for an extra pick seems like a borderline no brainer to me.

    -32 Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Dave Cameron says:

      There’s an entire post about the hitters you are free to go make your objections in. This post is about pitchers. And, by the way, teams have been implicitly told that they cannot make trades to get around the QO process.

      +12 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Wes says:

        “Implicitly told”? Does that mean Bud Selig took the GMs into a shady bar and told them they might have an . . . accident if they mess with the QO process?

        +12 Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Careless says:

        Good luck getting a response on a Fangraphs comment made more than 12 hours ago, let alone last week. And yes, I realize I’m posting this from 23 hours later.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  2. Bruce says:

    Dave: I have read your arguments regarding Lincecum and Johnson twice and still can’t understand your conclusion that they should be given a QA and yet Arroyo should not be given one. I wouldn’t give it to any of them, but on a one-year $14 million deal, certainly seems nonsensical to give an offer to two players who are regularly injured and/or underperforming over one who has generally remained healthy and provided better than average return.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • murphym45 says:

      Think the key is that Arroyo’s age makes him likely to take the deal, and his upside is probably 2-2.5 wins, making it tough to get any value from the contract. Johnson and Lincecum’s age and history make them higher risk, high reward, but also give the team a chance to get a draft pick next year if their guy stays healthy and figures it out, since they would have more incentive to leave in search of a multi-year deal. There’s also a higher possibility they turn down the deal but find a weak market, giving their original team leverage in re-signing them.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  3. Myran says:

    I was actually thinking about this when the Red Sox traded for Peavy and whether he would get a qualifying offer next year. That might actually net a great return for Iglesias (unless Iglesias kills them in the playoffs).

    Peavy will definitely get it next year unless injury strikes, right?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Not A Psychic says:

      Peavy QO or not is very tough to tell at this point. I think it will depend a lot on how it does next year. He certainly has the talent, but an injury-prone pitcher who will turn 34 early in the 2015 season might not entice a lot of people.

      Also bear in mind that the QO will likely go up next season so it could be more like $14.5 million.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Pre says:

      Can’t give a QO to a player traded during the season. Which is why Garza is also not on the list.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Joebrady says:

      As a RS fan, the same thought entered my mind. It would be nice, but assuming you are making the offer, and hoping it is declined, you would need to have someone ready to offer him a 3-year deal for $30M+. That’s kind of a long shot.

      Still, he might be good enough to make it a good offer for him to stay one more year if none of our prospects step up. Either way, it will be a good option.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  4. tomhaywood says:

    Anaheim??

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  5. CubsOfTheNorth says:

    According to one retired Toronto sportswriter, the Jays have an agreement with Johnson whereby they will make him the qualifying offer and he will refuse it, after which they will offer him a two year deal for less than $14 million.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • DrBGiantsfan says:

      They might get away with that, but there is a provision in the contract with the Player’s Association that the commissioner can severely punish teams that make under-the-table agreements.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • chuckb says:

        Right, so if there is an actual wink-and-nod agreement between the Jays and Johnson, it’s unlikely that they’d allow it to reach some sportswriter who was just going to go and blab it everywhere. The sportswriter’s probably just speculating (though maybe he’s presented it as though he’s in-the-know).

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • LaLoosh says:

      would be irrelevant if they are going to re-sign him anyway.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • harpago17 says:

      This makes absolutely no sense, it simply invites risk to both parties while adding no value (assuming neither party chooses to add value by reneging on the agreement).

      If the Jays and Johnson have agreed to a two year deal for less than $14 million, then the Jays don’t need to make a qualifying offer because they won’t get anything when he signs with them anyway, and Johnson can agree to a new contract with them outside of the “qualifying offer” mess.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • harpago17 says:

        Here are what could happen if either side backed out of the “wink-and-nod” deal:

        1. Toronto doesn’t follow up with the 2-year offer: Johnson is hung out to dry by having his value artificially lowered since he’ll have draft pick compensation attached to him. He has no incentive to actually agree to decline the offer.

        2. Johnson backs out of the deal and accepts the offer: Toronto ends up with Johnson for 1-year, $14 million, when they could have just signed him to an extension for 2-years at a lower price.

        The “offer and decline” agreement only makes sense if one side plans on breaking the agreement.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Simon says:

        Maybe they would be happy either to resign him for, say, 2 years at $10million/year, or, if he does get a better offer, to just take the draft pick. In that case, they would make the offer, have it declined, and make Johnson the two year offer which he can take to the market and see if that’s the best he can do.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Brian says:

          Why would Josh Johnson agree to that? You’d think he and his agent could figure out if he can get more than say 2/10M before turning down 1/14……. if they can’t he should hire me and I’ll be his agent.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

    • JayT says:

      If they actually have an agreement along these lines, why wouldn’t they just sign him to the two year contract right now? What would they gain from offering him the QO and him turning it down?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Paul says:

        Exactly. On the question of making him a QO if he’s just going to re-sign once (once the season is over), isn’t there a negotiating window where they cannot sign him if they do not make a QO? Or maybe that’s the strategy. He already knows what he has in the back pocket and will go look for a better deal for a few months while everybody cools their heels knowing that he’s going to be in the fold eventually.

        Whatever the strategy, it sounds too clever by half. And yet another reason for me to be unimpressed by AA.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • hk says:

          It would seem that the plan would be for Johnson to use free agency to seek a better offer than that which Toronto has allegedly offered. If he can beat the offer, Toronto gets compensation. If he can’t beat the offer, he has the Toronto offer as a fall-back.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Joebrady says:

      If they are going to give him $14M/2, why would it make any difference if they make him a QO?

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • hk says:

        I have no idea, but after reading this thread, my suspicion is that the speculated plan will work as follows:

        * Toronto makes the QO.
        * Johnson declines and become a free agent.
        * Johnson seeks a better offer than Toronto’s.
        * If he finds one, the Jays will get the compensation.
        * If he can’t beat Toronto’s offer, he re-signs with the Jays.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • boringdan says:

          That was my understanding. There are more moving parts than just to have him turn down the deal and then sign him.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

  6. DrBGiantsfan says:

    The reason for the difference between Lincecum’s ERA and FIP/xFIP is quite simple: His command falls apart when he is in the stretch! It’s a mechanical thing, not luck or a random statistical variation.

    I agree that the Giants will probably make a QO, mostly due to his still amazing fan appeal. I think Timmy will accept the QO. If he doesn’t there is probably some owner out there who thinks he can sell a lot of tickets on his name, which would work out fine for the Giants too.

    I would be OK if he accepted the 1 year QO, though. The Giants would only be on the hook for 1 year. He is in much better physical shape this year and has shown signs of improved command in the second half, but I tend to go back and forth on it depending on how he did in his last start.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Brandon says:

      He also cannot control the running game at all. Sullivan (I think) had a great post up about Cueto and why he can outperform his FIP because he gets so many free outs. I’d imagine giving up so many free bases has the same negative effect.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Paul says:

      I think this is the part of the analysis that Dave completely misses. If you’re a team trying to take into account a bunch of variables you can’t control, you are probably a member of a FO that is going to be fired soon. The biggest question has to be: IF the guy accepts the FO, do you WANT to pay him that for one more year? The Giants should absolutely do it under those circumstances.

      I think the Yankees are in the same spot on Kuroda. Is somebody really going to give him multiple years one a much better deal than the tender? He’s 40. How many 40 yo starters have EVER received a multi-year deal? I think the Yankees make him that offer because he has to take it. In his situation it’s an odd bargain.

      Also, is Burnett really likely to get Kyle Lohse money? If not, he may just take it, and since they’ve paid him minimum wage for three seasons (thanks, Yankees), there is no way in hell they can absorb an accepted tender, even with Wandy coming off the books (and part of whose deal was also picked up I think).

      I think it is more likely that only three get tendered, with only Ervin Santana (because of his age) actually changing teams. This is basically what happened last season except that the guy who will change teams is younger. Not sure why this season would be so different, unless you just leave out the most obvious question from the analysis.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Pirates Hurdles says:

        Bucs can easily afford AJ, they have only $52 million or so committed for 2014 even when you include the potential arbitration guys like Walker, Morton, Melancon, and maybe Gaby. There sure seems to be a ton of mutual interest in keeping him around. If Wandy opts out they have even more space (another $7.5 million).

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Paul says:

          Surprised they want to pay a guy who will be 37 next year that kind of money. With their fortunes improving, why wouldn’t they go multi-year on a younger guy like Nolasco? Or just keeping rocking with awesome deals for pitchers nobody wants and upgrade the offense? If he does not re-up before the end of the year, I’d wager on him not being tendered.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

  7. isavage30 says:

    I’d be curious what the conclusion would be for Ubaldo Jimenez. He’s actually been pretty good this year and may end the year around 2 WAR.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • chuckb says:

      A BB% over 10 and an xFIP- and FIP- over 100 are not indicative of a good pitcher. Moreover, the Indians have an $8M club option for Ubaldo. It would seem pretty stupid to reject the option only to turn around and offer him the qualifying offer.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Kogoruhn says:

        Ubaldo has the option to void his 2014 option since he was traded.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • isavage30 says:

        Yes, it’s not a team option. He’s been about equivalent to Vargas in terms of ERA and FIP, with more innings, so it’s at least worthy of consideration. As far as trends go, he has a 3.15 FIP in the second half. I wouldn’t want to give $14 million to Ubaldo myself, but he’s been durable and with only a 1-year contract there’s limited risk if he reverts back to being worthless. Cleveland will want to retain either Kazmir or Ubaldo, so if they can’t come to an agreement with either on a longer-term deal, I think they’d consider a qualifying offer to Ubaldo. Depends how he finishes this season

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Paul says:

          If he opts out, can they offer him a QO? Seems like that would defeat the purpose of his opt-out (especially since it was written prior to the new rules and straight-up arb would have been less $).

          Vote -1 Vote +1

        • isavage30 says:

          Paul Hoynes at the Cleveland Plain Dealer recently answered “yes” to that question. I’d think at the point he turns down the option he’s a free agent and you’d negotiate with him as normal.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

  8. Nathan says:

    “Colon has had a career resurgence…”

    “There are way too many paths for … Colon to fail miserably…”

    I think this was supposed to be posted in NotGraphs.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  9. RMD says:

    Only three pitchers got QOs last year. Two starters with sub-3.00 ERAs and a guy with over 40 saves. This year’s version of Lincecum and Johnson are hardly up to that standard. With the headache that Loshe went through last year, I think everyone of of these pitchers would just take the qualifying offer. I honestly think zero pitchers will receive them.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Dave Cameron says:

      You name the amount that you want to wager on Hiroki Kuroda or Ervin Santana not getting a qualifying offer and I will happily agree to it.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • chuckb says:

        I’d be stunned also if Burnett didn’t get one. And I think Lincecum’s a sure thing also.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Sparkles Peterson says:

          If the Giants were so big on xFIP that Lincecum was a sure thing, Matt Cain would be disappointing some other team right now.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

      • LaLoosh says:

        With the Yankees in dire need of having Kuroda back, the only one being relevant is Santana and he’s surely going to get a QO.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

        • Paul says:

          Santana is the only one who is guaranteed to get a decent multi-year offer from someone AND the Royals would be happy to give him a pay increase less than what he would get in arbitration, and they have the room in the payroll.

          Vote -1 Vote +1

      • rbt says:

        If the Royals gave Santana a qualifying offer and he got Lohse-scared and accepted it, they would be absolutely thrilled. I guarantee you he gets one.

        Kuroda you never know about. I would bet on the Yankees making the offer, but he may decide to retire at any time.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  10. harpago17 says:

    “And, by the way, teams have been implicitly told that they cannot make trades to get around the QO process.”

    This makes me wonder what would count as trading to “mess with the process”. A few years ago the Braves offered Rafael Soriano arbitration with the public expectation that he would not accept it…the team had already signed Billy Wagner and Takashi Saito, and GM Frank Wren even made comments to the media that if Soriano accept arb he needed to know he would not be returning to his closer role. Soriano did accept the offer, and within days Atlanta traded him to Tampa Bay for Jesse Chavez (and salary relief). Would this type of deal be considering messing with the process now? Or is it different since back then arbitration was an unknown amount (although the potential salary range was well known), whereas today the Braves would have had to actually offer Soriano a contract for a set amount of money? Just wondering how a similar situation would play today.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  11. Ryan says:

    I’d say make the offer to Arroyo. He’s been vocal about his desire for a multi-year deal, and he’s not going to be inclined to take the QO.

    Sure, when he finds out the market for aging innings-eaters isn’t full of teams offering a multi-year deal, he might rethink his priorities, but given the timing of the QOs and the limited time frame to accept, I expect Arroyo would still be hoping for multiple years, and would turn down the QO accordingly.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Paul says:

      For him to accept would really hinder them improving their team, and they don’t need him. No GM is going to consider all the upside without thinking about the downside risk. That’s why it’s so fun to play GM on the FG message board.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  12. BenRevereDoesSteroids says:

    Question: is Scott Kazmir eligible for the QO process? If so, what do you think his free agent market will look like, and will the Indians make the offer?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • LaLoosh says:

      He may have set himself up for something in the 2/20M neighborhood if you ask me but his market will undoubtedly dry up if there is compensation attached so the Tribe can go there but they’ll wind up overpaying him the $14M for 1 year and that doesn’t seem like something the Indians would want to do. They won’t make the offer but may try and extend him.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • rbt says:

        Yikes. That would be a frightening offer to make. I think if they did, Kazmir would have to accept. Does he really think he’s going to get $14 million on the open market?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

    • isavage30 says:

      I think right now Cleveland’s preference would be to re-sign Kazmir at a lower rate, and I don’t think they’d make a qualifying offer to him if they can’t come to an agreement. You could probably find someone with a lot fewer question marks than Kazmir if you’re willing to spend $14 million. I think they’d be more likely to make a qualifying offer to Ubaldo if they can’t agree with him or Kazmir. At least Ubaldo’s been durable. Right now, I’d say something like 1/10 (maybe a little lower base with incentives) or 2/16 would be fair for Kaz.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

      • Za says:

        For 2/$16, I’m pretty sure there would be a number of teams int he mix. Sure, he has injury history but he’s made 25 starts with a .385 FIP and is a lefty throwing the ball routinely at 95-96 MPH. He also has “pedigree”.

        Vote -1 Vote +1

      • isavage30 says:

        Sure, there might be, like I said, it would seem like a decent offer. You think teams will pay significantly more than that though, and that if Cleveland offers 2/16 he’d definitely reject it? To date in 2013, he’s put up 1.7 fWAR. By bWAR, with its ERA-based WAR, that’s 0.9. And what you see this year, is also what you have for the past 3 years. I don’t think teams will be falling over themselves to give much more than $16 million to Kazmir. He may have pedigree, but even this successful year, he’s only been a 1-2 WAR pitcher and has dealt with a “dead arm.” Even if he hadn’t returned from a 2-year hiatus where he disappeared from baseball, why would you give more than 8-10 million to someone who was only a 1-2 WAR pitcher?

        Vote -1 Vote +1

  13. Barry Zito says:

    What, no mention?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  14. konrobski says:

    Not saying i know what will happen with JJ, but given the information asymmetry that exist, wouldn’t Toronto decide to not extend a QO. If they extend one, they are signalling to other teams he is probably healthy and he might be able to get an offer (maybe one of the teams holding the first 10 picks if draft pick compensation is still too much). Not extending a QO probably signals that he is damaged and then they can still negotiate a deal with him. Sort of like having the cubs turn down trading marmol for you. Not that this type of signal deters everyone

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  15. Tim says:

    Don’t be surprised if the Twins qualify Mike Pelfrey. Note that I’m not suggesting doing so would be a good idea.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  16. Joebrady says:

    I think Lincecum is the most interesting of the bunch. I don’t think Arroyo is quite worth it, and it might be Cincy’s best interest to offer him a smaller, multi-year deal for him. Seems like he should be okay for another 2-3 years.

    But Lincecum has upside. I figure the downside is a year with a 4.50, and that won’t kill the SFG. And he could revert back to a 3.50, which would earn him his $14M, and definitely give them a QO for the following year.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  17. miffleball says:

    Hey dave, just wondering about lincecum – by the good ole fashioned $/war ratio, lincecum would have to be about twice as good next year as he was this year to make a 1/14M contract even market value – that’s a huge risk for a guy who’s now on his second year in a row of severely diminished production. so how is he a QO guy? isn’t that just setting up a huge loss for the giants unless you expect other GMs to sign him because they remember who he used to be and not who he is?

    Vote -1 Vote +1

  18. Reds Fan says:

    Arroyo should be a lock for a offer. That dude has the biggest set in all of baseball. I hope the Reds give him one. Yes, he had a bad year in 2011, but he was hurt all year (back and carpal tunnel) and he never missed a start. Plus if you have never been to the park in Cincy you would be amazed that any pitcher could keep it in the park, especially one who throws 88 at best. He is the only right handed pitcher to start at least 25 games a year for the past 10 years in all of baseball. Plus I am pretty sure he is one or two in all of baseball during those 10 years in wins as a righty. Plus a 3.62 ERA isn’t bad for any pitcher in MLB. The dude could probably win around 20 a year piching half his games in Dodger Stadium instead of GABP.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Iron says:

      Almost all of that was crap. Allow me to rebut line by line.

      “Arroyo should be a lock for a offer.”
      See above good reasons not to.

      “That dude has the biggest set in all of baseball.”
      Really? That’s your argument?

      “I hope the Reds give him one. Yes, he had a bad year in 2011, but he was hurt all year (back and carpal tunnel) and he never missed a start.”
      Injury is not a great excuse for a bad year if you are talking about a 37 year old. If I were a GM I would prefer 2011 were due to a non-injury related issue.

      “Plus if you have never been to the park in Cincy you would be amazed that any pitcher could keep it in the park, especially one who throws 88 at best.”
      Probably why he leads all pitchers by a wide margin in HR given up over the last decade.

      “He is the only right handed pitcher to start at least 25 games a year for the past 10 years in all of baseball. Plus I am pretty sure he is one or two in all of baseball during those 10 years in wins as a righty.”
      He has the 6th most wins as a righty over the last ten years. He has the 2nd most losses.

      “Plus a 3.62 ERA isn’t bad for any pitcher in MLB. The dude could probably win around 20 a year piching half his games in Dodger Stadium instead of GABP.”
      Because wins are correlated to park size? Of all the stats you could have chosen to suggest park factor makes him better than he seems, you chose the one that is automatically scaled to park size since the opposing pitcher is always pitching in the same park, and the one that has the least to do with pitching ability.

      All in all, I am extremely disappointed in you and suggest you try harder next time.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  19. Jason B says:

    I think AA would deploy his resources more effectively than extending a $14M offer to a pitcher with all the drawbacks, caveats, and risk that you outline in JJ. Given his injury history and general ineffectiveness this year (by traditional measures), I would assume that they would try to bring him back on the cheap if they’re interested at all.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Joebrady says:

      I’d be shocked if it happened. He’s pitched terribly and is injured. You’d have to think about what kind of deal another GM would offer him. Would anyone offer more than one year? And if you could find a GM to offer him $5M/1, would the same GM also give up a draft pick? I think you’d have to find someone with a protected #1, or someone who already lost their #1 for another signing.

      And even if he did find someone to pay him $5M, does he hate TO enough to leave $9M on the table?

      And could AA even gamble that he wouldn’t accept? If he accepts, your rotation is Dickey, Buerhle, JJ, Morrow, and Happ. No real guarantee that any of them finish with a 4.00 or better. And it would push their payroll up to ~ $148M, with no upgrades, and a team that reeks of .500.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

  20. Adam says:

    Dave, what do you think about the possibility of the Indians extending a QO to Ubaldo Jimenez, assuming he doesn’t pick up his end of his mutual option for 2014? He’s still relatively young, and has gotten stronger as the season has gone on this year. His K/9 is the best it’s ever been.

    Vote -1 Vote +1

    • Joebrady says:

      I’d say he’d almost have to receive a QO. He’s got a high walk rate, but over his last 24 GS, he has a 142/64 K/W, with a 2.82 ERA and a .690 OPSa.

      Using my general rule of ‘$30M/3′, I think someone would surely offer him that, and more.

      Vote -1 Vote +1

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>