Predictions for 2014-2015 MLB Free Agency’s Dreaded Qualifying Offers – Bleacher Report

Predictions for 2014-2015 MLB Free Agency's Dreaded Qualifying Offers
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The offseason is just a few days old, but there’s already been a lot of talk about qualifying offers.

What is a qualifying offer, you ask? That’s a good question.

To put it simply, a qualifying offer is a one-year contract offer worth at least the annual average salary of the previous year’s top 125 free agents, per MLB Trade Rumors.

If a team extends a qualifying offer to an outgoing free agent and the player opts to sign elsewhere, his former club will receive a compensatory (or sandwich) draft pick between the first and second rounds.

Meanwhile, the team that signs the free agent is forced to forfeit its first-round choice, unless the team has a protected top-10 pick. In that case, the signing team surrenders a second-round pick.

This year, Major League Baseball’s qualifying offer is valued at $15.3 million, per The Associated Press (via ESPN.com). However, it’s important to point out that no player has ever accepted a qualifying offer.

For a select few players, that decision has come back to bite them in the you-know-what. Specifically, Nelson Cruz had to settle for a one-year, $8 million deal last year, while Stephen Drew and Kendrys Morales failed to land a contract until after the 2014 season began.

With all that being said, here’s a breakdown of this year’s candidates for qualifying offers and whether it makes sense for them to accept such a deal.

Players Who Will Receive a Qualifying Offer

Max Scherzer, RHP

The Detroit Tigers extended Scherzer a $15.3 million qualifying offer on Friday, though the 2013 AL Cy Young Award winner will surely reject it given his potential to command a monster long-term contract as this year’s top free agent.

Gene J. Puskar/Associated Press

Russell Martin, C

Pirates general manager Neal Huntington has already stated …read more

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