If the Detroit Tigers are looking to upgrade at catcher this offseason and are interested in Willson Contreras as has been rumored, they could have an advantage over other MLB suitors thanks to a qualifying offer stipulation.
Do the Detroit Tigers have an advantage over the St. Louis Cardinals, Houston Astros in Willson Contreras chase?
With the Detroit Tigers being rumored to look to the 30-year-old Contreras as an upgrade at catcher, the impact of the Chicago Cubs extending a qualifying offer to Contreras and him rejecting it could be important.
The $19.65 million qualifying offer given to Contreras allows the Cubs to receive compensation in the form of a draft pick and potential International bonus pool money if another team were to sign him. Detroit’s 66-96 mark and miss of the postseason could well pay dividends for the team when it comes to qualifying offers in 2023.
While the higher-round pick and additional money may not necessarily sway a team like the Cardinals and Astros (two teams with World Series aspirations in 2023 that could definitely use Contreras behind the plate), or other teams as we discussed in this article detailing some potential landing spots for Contreras, the Tigers forfeiting a lower pick and less money is certainly something that can’t be overlooked.
The qualifying offer is something that will reportedly give the New York Mets pause when it comes to pursuing free agents this offseason. What effect will it have on other teams? That’s a question that remains to be seen, including in the chase for Contreras, easily the best catcher who will be available this offseason.