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Will the Twins Submit To Jake Odorizzi A Qualifying Offer?

Jose Berrios is the only current member of the Twins rotation under team control for next season. Jake Odorizzi, Michael Pineda, and Kyle Gibson will all be able to test the free agent waters. This could leave the Twins scrambling to fill their rotation with free agents and other players currently in the organization. If the Twins want to maximize their current window, it could make sense to for the team to submit a qualifying offer to Mr. Odorizzi.
Image courtesy of © Raj Mehta-USA TODAY Sports
Qualifying Offer Process
As part of MLB’s Collective Bargaining Agreement, teams can make a one-year “qualifying offer” to a player that has never previously received a qualifying offer and only if that player has been on the team’s roster for the entire season. This means in-season acquisitions are ineligible for a qualifying offer.

This qualifying offer is worth the mean salary of the 125 highest-paid players in the big leagues. During last off-season, MLB’s qualifying offer was $17.9 million, which was up $500,000 from 2018. Last season, seven players received a qualifying offer and the Dodgers’ Hyun-Jin Ryu was the only player to accept the offer. In the seven previous offseasons with this system in place, there have been 80 qualifying offers issued, and only six (Brett Anderson, Jeremy Hellickson, Neil Walker, Colby Rasmus, Matt Wieters, and Ryu) have been accepted.

All-Star First Half
Odorizzi put together a strong first half of the season to be selected to his first All-Star Game. An injury caused him to miss the game, but it still doesn’t take anything away from what he was able to do in the first half. Plus, it also allowed teammate Jose Berrios to make his second All-Star appearance.

In 17 first-half starts, Odorizzi posted a 3.15 ERA with a 1.12 WHIP. He added a 96 to 30 strikeout to walk ratio while striking out nearly 10 batters per nine innings. This was in a first half where baseballs were flying out of the park at a record rate.

He won 10 straight decisions from April 17 through July 20. During that stretch, he held opposing batters to a .209/.261/.289 (.550) batting line which helped him post a 1.52 ERA and a 70 to 15 strikeout to walk ratio. He was one of the best pitchers for a good stretch of the first half and he helped the Twins to stretch their lead in the AL Central.

Second Half Struggle
It would have been almost impossible for Odorizzi to keep up his first half pace during the second half of the season. His ERA has rose to 4.28 and his WHIP has jumped up to 1.47 in nine games started. He has struck out 49 batters and limited them to 19 walks, but hitters have found a way to get to Odorizzi more regularly in the second half.

Entering play on Monday, opposing batters are hitting .271/.341/.453 (.794) with 23 extra-base hits. He only allowed 19 extra-base hits in the first half and that was in eight more starts than the second half. According to Baseball Savant, his hard-hit percentage and exit velocity are all near the league average. He has still been able to keep his K% and xBA above league average and that has helped him to be successful. He’s been able to do this with a fastball velocity and fastball spin rate that are below league average.

Odorizzi might not be the most likely candidate for a qualifying offer, but it might make sense for the Twins to add some rotation stability to next season. He has made $21.45 million through his career so a $18 million payday might be tough for him to reject. He’s never made more than $9.5 million in a season, but will the Twins front office think he is worth the amount invested?

Should the Twins make a qualifying offer to Odorizzi? Leave a COMMENT and start the discussion.

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95 Comments

Yes. They have a lot of payroll flexibility and if he turns it down, the draft pick is really valuable.

    • glunn, PDX Twin, Minny505 and 2 others like this
No.

They will absolutely offer him a raise and an extension. I believe they will offer him 2yrs, or a 2 + 1 that us easy to hit. They might even offer him 3yrs. He will have the choice of financial security and a fair raise, guessing somewhere around $12-14M per. Despite needs for SO everywhere, the FA market has clearly changed. And past history would state that he is a good pitcher, but not a $18-25M per front of the rotation starter.

He is borderline outstanding, most days, for 5+ IP. And I'd love to have him back. The only way he would get a QO is because the FO would expect him to decline and potentially gather a draft pick. I just don't think this will happen.

FWIW, I believe the FO will make a similar move with Pineda. I believe they will make a somewhat smaller and "safer" offer to Gibson, especially considering he is a bit older and now facing some health concerns. Gibson is probably more a 1 or 1+ with a possible 2yr offer but no more.

None of this precludes a trade or FA option to be added. But I believe they will hope to keep 2 of Odorizzi, Pineda and Gibson on board.
    • glunn, nokomismod, brvama and 10 others like this

He should be able to get at least a two year offer, and probably a 3-year at $12-14 a year. So doubt he would take the one-year from the Twins if it looks like he could get more money over time.

 

Would you offer him $35 million for three years? 

 

Of course the Twins have little to lose if they would offer him a qualifying offer. Plus they get compensation if he walks.

 

 

    • glunn, LA VIkes Fan, Minny505 and 1 other like this
I agree with Doc about wanting to resign Big Mike. Hopefully he would appreciate the last 2 year deal he signed with the Twins. Qualifying offer? Probably not. It's hard to say signing a fella to a multi million dollar contract signing then cheap but, I really want Big Mike back next year.
    • glunn, brvama, CUtomorrownight and 5 others like this

I'm moving on from Odo and his 5 1/3 innings at 90 pitches.Way, way too many pitches per inning. Kills the bullpen.

    • ewen21 likes this

I'd pass on Odorizzi if it's more than $12 million/year. I think long-term he's closer to what we saw last year than what he was for 2 months this year. Rather keep Pineda for cheaper. And even Gibson will probably have to take a 1 year deal. 

    • glunn and Dman like this

I think it highly likely the Twins will either sign Odorizzi to an extension or give him a qualifying offer. The qualifying offer could itself be a negotiating tactic to drive down his price as it has done to other players in years past.

    • glunn, James, LA VIkes Fan and 3 others like this

Paying an extra 4-6MM while limiting it to a 1 year deal is a fair trade off if I'm the Twins. They have only one starter returning with decisions to make on the other 4. I foresee a trade for a top starter and then bringing back one or both of Pineda and Odoriizzi. Hell I may extend them each a QO and hope they both take it or bring back a draft pick. 

    • jorgenswest, beckmt, DocBauer and 4 others like this
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the_brute_squad
Sep 03 2019 05:23 AM

You can't give a middle of the rotation pitch a QO. If the team is going to spend top 125 money then do it on a proven top of the rotation pitcher in free agency. While it would be good to see him come back the #1 priority of the free agent pitchers is Pineda.

 

    • brvama, beckmt and In My La-Z-boy like this
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diehardtwinsfan
Sep 03 2019 06:04 AM

someone will get a QO... not sure who at this point that will be. There's no way they can find 2 starting pitchers in FA/trade. I do think they'll open one spot to Thorpe/Smeltzer... but I doubt they let 3 rookies take those spots next season.

    • Sconnie, DocBauer, howieramone2 and 2 others like this
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stringer bell
Sep 03 2019 06:12 AM

1) More than 90% of Qualifying Offers are refused. 2) QOs are for one year and I've heard there is no such thing as a bad one-year deal. 3) Despite his inability to pitch deep into games, Odorizzi had an All-Star first half and is pitching acceptably in the second half. 

 

I believe absolutely that the Twins should extend a Qualifying Offer to Jake, and negotiate on a 2-3 year extension. That gives absolutely no guarantee that he'll be a Twin next year. 

 

In addition, FWIW, I'd extend a Qualifying Offer to Pineda, too. 

    • James, beckmt, 70charger and 7 others like this

They shouldn't.They can get better pitching (eg, Wheeler) for the QO $ in the FA market.

    • KGB, ken and Vanimal46 like this

Let Perez and Gibson walk. Try to sign Odorizzi and Pineda. Get Cole in the offseason.

    • denarded and birddog like this
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Brock Beauchamp
Sep 03 2019 07:27 AM

The Twins have one starter signed for next season and Odorizzi has been worth slightly more than 6 fWAR since coming to the Twins last season.

 

Hell yes I find a way to keep that guy. Dunno if I QO him but it's not out of the question based on his demands.

    • brvama, SwainZag, Sconnie and 6 others like this
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nicksaviking
Sep 03 2019 08:21 AM

I'd normally think he'd accept the QO, but there won't be a ton of quality free agent starters available next year so another team might be willing to spend the pick to get him. As for his salary, if Lance Lynn can get 3/30M after last season, you'd think Odorizzi has a shot at 3/36M, which might be more attractive than the QO figure considering he'll be 30 years old.

 

So unless this team plans on tossing money around and seriously thinks Gerrit Cole would come to Minnesota (a Southern CA kid? I'd bet Minnesota is already crossed off of his list), I'd probably gamble and offer the QO to Odorizzi knowing that the worst that can happen is overpaying for one year of a serviceable but average starter.

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howieramone2
Sep 03 2019 08:24 AM

I don't care how much it costs or how they do it, I would bring back Odorizzi and Pineda. Thorpe and board scapegoat Perez can fill out the rotation until Graterol is ready.

 

I hate to even think it, but I believe Gibson is done.

    • nokomismod, brvama, Doctor Wu and 1 other like this

Big Mike should be a priority.But Odo will get a nice contract somewhere, it might as well be here, unless its a 5 @ $20 or something stupid like that.I'm not sure I'd even offer anything to Gibson.I know health issues have affected him, but doing charity work in a contract season was risky at best.God bless him.

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LA VIkes Fan
Sep 03 2019 09:03 AM

 

I think it highly likely the Twins will either sign Odorizzi to an extension or give him a qualifying offer. The qualifying offer could itself be a negotiating tactic to drive down his price as it has done to other players in years past.

This. I suspect that the Twins will offer something like 3 years, 35-40M and issue the QO if he rejects that proposal. He may take it, but that's ok. The reasonable offer/QO strategy leads to 3 possibilities, all of which are varying degrees of good - (1) he signs for 3 years at a reasonable price for 3rd/4th starter production (which is what he is) - very good,(2) he bets on himself and the Twins get another year at a high price at a time when they can afford it and still have the chance to re-sign him longer term - good, but not as good, or (3) we get the draft choice - not as good but not so bad. 

 

I have a question - is there a limit to the number QOs a team can offer? It almost seems like this same strategy makes sense for all 3 pending free agents - Pineda, Odorrizzi and Gibson. 

    • TL likes this

Count me among those who believe the Twins will attempt to resign/extend/QO to all three, Gibson, Pineda and Odorizzi.Gibby may be a one year offer for about what he made this year to see where his body is at next year.Pineda and Odorizzi would be longer offers.If they decline, wouldn't surprise me to see a QO to both or either.

    • IndianaTwin likes this

 

The Twins have one starter signed for next season

 

This is a bit of a fallacy. For next season the Twins have signed:

 

Berrios

Smeltzer

Thorpe

Dobnak

Poppen

Jax

Barnesetc. 

 

 

All of whom have started at least in AAA and the 3 first in the majors, plus

 

Romero &

Graterol

 

who should also be on the conversation

 

plus they have an option on

 

Perez.

 

That's 10 starters, half of them (Berrios, Perez, Smeltzer, Romero, Thorpe) with major league experience as starters.This does not include other pitchers under contract like Littell and May who may also be on the equation.Plus that Gonsalves guy.

 

It will not behoove the Twins to overpay for a middle to rear of the rotation starter like Odorizzi.They should look for 2 arms better than Berrios and I am sure that 2 of the mentioned 13 will be able to fill the last 2 spots of the rotation gallantly, or at least as well as Odorizzi.

    • brvama and cmoss84 like this
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Cap'n Piranha
Sep 03 2019 09:40 AM

 

You can't give a middle of the rotation pitch a QO. If the team is going to spend top 125 money then do it on a proven top of the rotation pitcher in free agency. While it would be good to see him come back the #1 priority of the free agent pitchers is Pineda.

 

Top 125 money will not get you a proven top of the rotation pitcher in free agency--it will take top 12 money to do that.

    • ashbury and Oldgoat_MN like this
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Cap'n Piranha
Sep 03 2019 09:43 AM

 

This is a bit of a fallacy. For next season the Twins have signed:

 

Berrios

Smeltzer

Thorpe

Dobnak

Poppen

Jax

Barnesetc. 

 

 

All of whom have started at least in AAA and the 3 first in the majors, plus

 

Romero &

Graterol

 

who should also be on the conversation

 

plus they have an option on

 

Perez.

 

That's 10 starters, half of them (Berrios, Perez, Smeltzer, Romero, Thorpe) with major league experience as starters.This does not include other pitchers under contract like Littell and May who may also be on the equation.Plus that Gonsalves guy.

 

It will not behoove the Twins to overpay for a middle to rear of the rotation starter like Odorizzi.They should look for 2 arms better than Berrios and I am sure that 2 of the mentioned 13 will be able to fill the last 2 spots of the rotation gallantly, or at least as well as Odorizzi.

 

While this is technically true, I don't think anyone is ok with next year's rotation being Berrios, Perez, Smeltzer, Thorpe, and Dobnak.I'm certainly ok with the members of the Rochester shuttle collectively being our 5th starter, but if they're asked to be more than that, or Perez is asked to be more than the 4th starter, we should all be very upset with ownership.

    • Brock Beauchamp, SQUIRREL, scottz and 8 others like this
They don't really have an option. They need to keep one, if not two, of the three free agents.

Having money, and actually signing free agents you want, doesn't always happen. They'll have to outbid lots of teams for the few really good free agent starters.

And no, they aren't going into next year with three or four rookie starters to start the year. No serious playoff contender does that.
    • scottz, Cap'n Piranha, Twins33 and 8 others like this

I want him back. If I'm actually a GM I'd ask my analytics staff to confirm my hypothesis that he's the kind of pitcher who will continue to be effective into his early 30s, so a 3-year commitment doesn't scare me if it's at a reasonable price (somewhere below the QO level, per year). If we can't agree to terms, QO him.

 

Ditto with Big Mike, for what it's worth. You can't go into an off-season with so many question marks in the rotation. I'm on the fence about Gibson - bad luck for him to get seriously ill during a contract year, but baseball's a cruel business and the FO has to be hard-headed about it.

    • Mike Sixel, brvama, beckmt and 4 others like this

This is a bit of a fallacy. For next season the Twins have signed:

Berrios
Smeltzer
Thorpe
Dobnak
Poppen
Jax
Barnes etc.


All of whom have started at least in AAA and the 3 first in the majors, plus

Romero &
Graterol

who should also be on the conversation

plus they have an option on

Perez.

That's 10 starters, half of them (Berrios, Perez, Smeltzer, Romero, Thorpe) with major league experience as starters. This does not include other pitchers under contract like Littell and May who may also be on the equation. Plus that Gonsalves guy.

It will not behoove the Twins to overpay for a middle to rear of the rotation starter like Odorizzi. They should look for 2 arms better than Berrios and I am sure that 2 of the mentioned 13 will be able to fill the last 2 spots of the rotation gallantly, or at least as well as Odorizzi.

I like the plan but it's almost impossible to pull off. Many argue the price of starting pitching was too high at the deadline (despite Kuechel sitting forever and Stroman going for an average package). The Twins missed a huge opportunity to improve for next year AND get a stud for this year's playoffs. Unforgivable in my estimation. When the bidding heats up this winter the Twins will bow out like they always do. Perhaps smartly. But we'll be fielding a broken rotation which will cost even more to improve. At which point people will say you can't mortgage your future to acquire 1 or 2 arms. So we will perhaps smartly hold pat at next year's deadline and go into 2021 selling Larnach as the next Kepler, Kiriloff as the next Kubel and Lewis as the next Buxton. And say you don't sign big free agents when you're rebuilding. Rinse. Repeat.

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