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Qualifying Offer Means Jake Odorizzi Likely To Return

The Twins announced a flurry of moves yesterday, including giving a qualifying offer to Jake Odorizzi. Odorizzi now needs to make a decision next week, and the move greatly increases his chances of remaining with the Twins next year, essentially leaving them two spots and $52 million dollars to rebuild their starting rotation.
Image courtesy of © Jordan Johnson-USA TODAY Sports
A qualifying offer is a way teams can get some compensation for a free agent who leaves their team. It’s similar to a “franchise tag” in the NFL. A team can give a qualifying offer, which has two parts, one pretty good for the player and one very bad for the impending free agent:
  • It gives the player an offer for a one-year contract at the median salary of the top 100 players in MLB, which this year is $17.8M. The player can accept or reject this offer. That’s the pretty good part.
  • The very bad part is that if the player rejects the offer, any team that signs him will need to give up a second- or third- round draft pick, which hurts the player’s free agent value.
Odorizzi, who is only 29 years old and posted a 3.51 ERA last year, would probably be offered a three- or four- year guaranteed contract in free agency if no draft pick was attached. But by giving him a qualifying offer, he becomes less appealing than at least a few other similar free agents who have no such draft pick attached, like Cole Hamels and Dallas Keuchel. He goes from probably the sixth most appealing free agent pitcher on the market to the eighth best.

That’s not a huge drop, but free agency has changed a lot the last two years. There are only so many teams that are willing to drop $15M per year or more on a starting pitcher. If Odorizzi can’t guarantee at least a three-year deal for upwards of $40M, he is probably better off taking the $17.8M deal and trying again next year.

A player can only get a qualifying offer once in his career, so Odorizzi would be free and clear next year. He’ll still only be 30 years old, and - provided he has a similar year – a stronger resume, setting him up for a long-term deal. (Let’s not forget that Odorizzi’s combined ERA in 2017 and 2018 was 4.33.) Maybe most importantly, it’s a weaker free agent class; he could be the third best or maybe even second best starting pitcher on the market next year.

If Odorizzi decides against accepting the offer, he might want to have a guaranteed multi-year contract in hand before he has to make a decision by 11/14. That is a tight timeline in what has been a slow-moving free agent market over the last couple of years. Weighing those options, it’s hard to see how Odorizzi would not accept the qualifying offer and return to the Twins next year on the $17.8M, one-year deal in 2020.

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36 Comments

Now that the Twins have extended a QO to Odorizzi, can they still negotiate a longer term contract with him?

    • akmanak and rdehring like this
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LewFordLives
Nov 05 2019 08:03 AM
I would really be surprised if he accepted the QO. He had a career year and his stock may never be higher. With all the teams looking for pitching he should have no trouble getting at least 3 years/$45 million. And if he keeps putting up decent numbers he will still be young enough to get another big contract in a few years. On the other hand, if he accepts the QO and reverts to a back of the rotation starter he won't get much when he hits the market next year.
    • peterb18 and Battle ur tail off like this

Now that the Twins have extended a QO to Odorizzi, can they still negotiate a longer term contract with him?


Yes. The team and player are still free to negotiate other deals.
    • glunn likes this
This may be telling, giving us a window into how this FO feels about long term pitching deals. I can see no other reason not to ink Odo to a three year deal. He has proven himself on many levels to the point that the only complaint about him are his pitch counts. I especially like the quiet way he expresses his competitive fire and leadership. I want this guy on my team.
    • Dantes929, beckmt, SwainZag and 6 others like this

Oderizzi will be fine.I posted that he would get 3/51 from the Twins.This I feel is a little high, would like to keep it to 3/45 or a little higher.If he gets 3/51 somewhere else Twins I believe would get a comp pick after round 1 and signing team will give up their second round pick.Other thing is I do not believe there are many contending clubs that would pay that price for a pitcher that has been about 50-50 to be above average. I still am hoping the Twins sign him.

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Battle ur tail off
Nov 05 2019 09:04 AM

I hope we keep this guy around. He reminds me of Carl Pavano. Nothing that suggest he is a #1 type guy or anything, but the type of cat that will go out and give you a solid 5-6 almost every game and once in awhile jump up and give you more. He's a perfect #3 type guy. IMO, he has lots of value both here and on the FA market. One of those guys that you pretty much know what you are going to get from him every game. I mean he's pretty much been the same guy his entire career. He was good in Tampa and he has been good here. With the situation the Twins are in, even if he decides he doesn't want the QO, I would make almost 100% sure this guy is on the roster for the next few years. Can't afford to let him go. 

    • Dantes929 and wabene like this

Smart move by the Twins. $18M is a bit of an overpay for Odorizzi, but it's worth the premium for the 1 year deal if he accepts. I would prefer a 3 year deal with him at a lower AAV (3/$45?) but that might not be realistic. It might take a 4th year to induce him to sign a multi-year deal, or he might insist on a higher AAV.

 

Regardless, this fills a spot in the rotation with a quality starter. If Jake Odorizzi is our #3 starter going into the season, that's not bad at all.

    • birdwatcher, DocBauer, birddog and 2 others like this
Does Odorizzi Want to be a MN Twin in 2020?? I hope we keep him but he always looked unhappy compared to players like Romo or the Bomba squad....You have to love where you are to be truly successful is my opinion.

Does Odorizzi Want to be a MN Twin in 2020?? I hope we keep him but he always looked unhappy compared to players like Romo or the Bomba squad....You have to love where you are to be truly successful is my opinion.

Don’t have to be an extrovert to be happy. Finding an environment to be yourself creates an opportunity to be happy.
    • SQUIRREL, birdwatcher, peterb18 and 1 other like this

1.)We sign him to a 3-year/$51 million deal.

 

Pro - Fantastic!!!We got a guy for the remainder of his prime.He's proven, and there is nothing to suggest he doesn't deserve it.

 

Con - Other teams can have at him.Offer the moon and we can't do anything about it..

 

2.)We give him the qualifying offer.

 

Pro or Con? - He accepts it.He has another exceptional year, he signs for $60-$80 million for 3-4 years instead of wrapping him up at 3/$51 million.

 

Con - He has a down year, and we've ruined his chances of cashing in on his ONE big shot at a favorable contract...but what should we care, it's a business.It's not Minnesota Nice.

Don’t have to be an extrovert to be happy. Finding an environment to be yourself creates an opportunity to be happy.

Concur. I just did a cursory YouTube search for footage of him in interviews, back with Tampa and then as recently as this past September. He seems about the same, then and now. He always looked faintly miserable, like under the weather, out on the mound, but I think it's just his game face. No reason for me to think he's been counting the days to get out of town.

    • glunn and David HK like this

Does Odorizzi Want to be a MN Twin in 2020?? I hope we keep him but he always looked unhappy compared to players like Romo or the Bomba squad....You have to love where you are to be truly successful is my opinion.


He said he wanted to come back to the Twins

https://www.skornort...-jake-odorizzi/
    • ashbury and birdwatcher like this
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Kelly Vance
Nov 05 2019 09:56 PM

I would sign him to three years at $48, and make $3 of it a signing bonus, to bring his 2020 numbers up to the QO level. Put in an option for after the three years at $20 for year 4. Locking up a 30 year old proven starter is not a bad idea, especially since we have 4 spots open. 

 

I'd offer Big Mike 2 years for $13 each with a third year option at $15 as well. Now we have Jose, Jake and Mike.Not so scary vacancy wise anymore.Then go after Mad Baum, Wheeler or another quality arm.Which leaves the 5th spot openfor Dauber or one of the others like Busdar or Smeltzer. Not an exciting set of moves but not horrible. Plus it keeps the band together. Chemistry matters.

 

Sign Romo, just for his energy and know how.

 

But adding someone like Smith is doable. 

 

 

    • birdwatcher, 071063, brvama and 5 others like this

I would sign Odorizzi for any of the terms presented in this thread... I do think we're all underestimating what he will get on the open market. 

 

Nathan Eovaldi signed last year for 4/$68 million because of a great 2nd half and playoff performance. Odorizzi has a longer track record of productive play. 

 

4/$68 should be a baseline at least for Odorizzi... 

    • Major League Ready likes this

 

I would sign Odorizzi for any of the terms presented in this thread... I do think we're all underestimating what he will get on the open market. 

 

Nathan Eovaldi signed last year for 4/$68 million because of a great 2nd half and playoff performance. Odorizzi has a longer track record of productive play. 

 

4/$68 should be a baseline at least for Odorizzi... 

By this logic, Keuchel should have done better than Eovaldi last winter too -- but it didn't happen. The market doesn't quite work so predictably.

 

For one thing, Eovaldi didn't have a draft pick attached. You also have to look at supply -- Eovaldi signed the second-biggest pitcher contract last winter, behind Patrick Corbin. Odorizzi may only be ~6th on the SP list this winter.

 

Furthermore, Eovaldi signed pretty quickly last offseason, and the GM that signed him is now unemployed. :) Add the "World Series hero" factor and I'm not sure it's a good baseline for predicting the market for other pitchers.

    • birdwatcher, 70charger and wabene like this
I don't really understand the hesitancy to sign a guy who has a QO. You're giving up your second best pick.... If you could trade picks, would contenders really not deal their second pick for a good player?
    • Twins33 and Kelly Vance like this

I do not understand why everybody thinks the twins have $70 million to spend. on 1 year contracts, sure, but we are not talking about one year contracts. The FO has to take into account that almost everybody already on the roster will be more expensive next year, eating into next year's budget. Not to mention trying to tie guys up on long term contracts, which will also consume more of this year's budget, as well as maybe extra money next year. 

You can't just look aat one year.

Here in St. Louis where he is from 30 miles away some fans have shown interest in him. He does well against bad teams, but, against the top teams you can't count on him to shut the Dodgers down.

Well, pitching is hard to find and expensive.

 

I do not understand why everybody thinks the twins have $70 million to spend. on 1 year contracts, sure, but we are not talking about one year contracts. The FO has to take into account that almost everybody already on the roster will be more expensive next year, eating into next year's budget. Not to mention trying to tie guys up on long term contracts, which will also consume more of this year's budget, as well as maybe extra money next year. 

You can't just look aat one year.

 

Have you looked at the likely salaries of the combined players under contract for this year? They easily have 50-70MM to spend. Easily. 

    • DocBauer likes this
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Battle ur tail off
Nov 07 2019 11:00 AM

 

I do not understand why everybody thinks the twins have $70 million to spend. on 1 year contracts, sure, but we are not talking about one year contracts. The FO has to take into account that almost everybody already on the roster will be more expensive next year, eating into next year's budget. Not to mention trying to tie guys up on long term contracts, which will also consume more of this year's budget, as well as maybe extra money next year. 

You can't just look aat one year.

 

Yes, but the roster is flexible year to year as well. We have a bunch of young guys down on the farm, some of them will be used and higher paid players on the MLB roster moved in trades, or let walk in FA as well.

 

What is wrong with going for it for a season or two? 

 

 

    • birdwatcher, DocBauer and wabene like this

Yes, but the roster is flexible year to year as well. We have a bunch of young guys down on the farm, some of them will be used and higher paid players on the MLB roster moved in trades, or let walk in FA as well.

What is wrong with going for it for a season or two?


Exactly!

And a year from now, Cruz, Rosario, others could be gone via FA, trade, etc.

As to your "going for it" comment, $70M would put the Twins at around $140M total. Still below the mean the past few seasons.
    • Battle ur tail off likes this
KLaw chat yesterday:

John: Do you think Odorizzi gets signed to a long term deal with the draft pick penalty or is he a player better off taking the QO?


Keith Law: I would be concerned if he doesn’t get a long-term deal. That would feel suspicious to me.
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stringer bell
Nov 08 2019 08:45 AM

I don't think the QO guarantees anything about Odorizzi returning to the Twins. I do think that his slide in the second half, along with the limited number of innings will make him a bit less attractive to other teams and that the Twins have a decent chance of signing him to a multi-year deal. 

 

Odorizzi had his best year last year. I would expect he could back it up with another (or a few more) good seasons. 

    • nicksaviking and wabene like this

his slide in the second half,

He definitely had a very rocky stretch, 7 games, from mid-June to late-July, but then turned things around in his last game of July and was more than solid for those 10 games (aside from his eternally high pitch-counts) the rest of the way. I seem to recall something about a blister or bad fingernail. If so, other teams probably won't shy away too badly.

    • wabene likes this

 

Keith Law: I would be concerned if he doesn’t get a long-term deal. That would feel suspicious to me.

Suspicious? Like, collusion? I'm not sure if Odorizzi has enough of a track record to be a bellwether for collusion.

    • birdwatcher, Major League Ready and ken like this