Ellsbury (left) and Drew (Robert Deutsch-USA TODAY Sports)

Qualifying Offers Extended to 13 Players

Three World Series champion players among the thirteen.

For a fantastic primer on qualifying offers, Ben Nicholson-Smith of MLB Trade Rumors has an in-depth explanation of the process. Here’s the “quick and dirty” method…

The value for 2014 qualifying offers is $14.1MM as determined annually by averaging the top 125 player salaries from the previous year. Teams have until five days after the World Series to extend a QO, and the players have seven days to accept or decline. If he accepts, well, that’s it. One-year deal for $14.1MM

If the player declines the offer and signs with a different club, his new club surrenders its top unprotected draft pick. The former club receives a compensatory selection at the end of the first round.Teams now obtain one compensatory selection, instead of two.

If a team does not make a qualifying offer to a player that is eligible, the player can sign uninhibited and is a free agent. To be eligible, only players who have been with their clubs for the entire season will be eligible for compensation. Players that were traded during the previous season (in this case, 213) are not eligible to extend a QO.

Got it? So, here’s the thirteen…

Carlos Beltran, St. Louis Cardinals
This is a minimal risk for the Cardinals. Beltran made $13MM last season, so giving him an extra $1.1MM is nothing. Plus, if Beltran signs elsewhere, the Cards get a pick. We know how they develop talent these days.

Robinson Cano, New York Yankees
$14.1MM for one year seems like a far cry from the ten-year, $300+MM deal he’s seeking. Well, reportedly seeking. The QO will undoubtedly be refused as not only would it be for one year, but also about $1MM shy of the $15MM he made this past season.

Shin-Soo Choo, Cincinnati Reds
A major cog in the Reds offense last season. A number of teams would love that bat at the top of the order in spite of the weakness in hitting lefty pitching. As a Boras client, look for something around the five-year, $90MM deal Hunter Pence received. Hefty raise from the $7.4MM he took home for his year in Cincy.

Nelson Cruz, Texas Rangers
With the 50-day suspension for involvement in the Biogenesis hub-bub. The bat can still play, bit more likely in the AL so he can DH. Would have made $10.5MM for 2013 if not for the missed time.

Stephen Drew, Boston Red Sox
If not for Xander Bogaerts, the World Series champs would be in a frenzy to get him back. This QO may be more about the draft pick than trying to get the player back into the fold.

Jacoby Ellsbury, Boston Red Sox
Maybe the most coveted of all the free agents not with the last name Cano. Well, that’s true if he declines the QO…and I’m sure he will. Numbers being tossed around as to what Ellsbury could snag: seven years for $150MM. That would top the deal Carl Crawford got…from Boston.

Curtis Granderson, New York Yankees
There’s a chance Granderson takes this. He’s 33 and the $14.1MM is a raise over the $13MM he got for the 2013 season.

Ubaldo Jimenez, Cleveland Indians
Jimenez declined an option of $8MM from the Tribe. We know why, don’t we? As I stated the other day, Ubaldo saw the deal Tim Lincecum got from the Giants and figures he can make a little extra dough as well.

Hiroki Kuroda, New York Yankees
Kuroda’s value to the Bronx Bombers for the 2013 cannot be expressed enough. That said, there have been varying reports on what Kuroda will do. I’ve read he’ll accept the QO. I’ve read he’ll decline and look for a move to LA. The more prominent read is that Kuroda will return to his native Japan.

Brian McCann, Atlanta Braves
Name me any MLB team. They would love to have this guy. The Braves do have Evan Gattis should McCann head elsewhere.

Kendrys Morales, Seattle Mariners
Not a defensive wonder by any means, but Morales does have a bat that will surely play. Is that bat worth $14.1MM though?

Mike Napoli, Boston Red Sox
Had a base salary of $5MM, but made an additional $7MM in incentives. I can easily envision a long-term deal being worked out as the Red Sox did with David Ortiz last year.

Ervin Santana, Kansas City Royals
There are a half a dozen teams that could be in on Santana should the Royals be unable to retain his services. The road may get tough in getting the five-year, $75MM he’s reportedly seeking. He’ll be 31 in December.

Of note, only one agent has multiple clients among these 13: Scott Boras (Choo, Drew, Ellsbury and Morales).

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