Fans often do a very different cost / benefit analysis as compared to any FO. Some fans simply ask will it make the team better next year and not much else seems to matter.
The benefit here is a 2-3 win improvement on a sub 500 team. This would be an entirely different situation IF those wins had the potential to win the division or the players had the potential to make a difference in contention. However, there is no way this team contends and the two players in question are not difference makers.
The cost in terms of future development is 2 prospects along the lines of Berrios, Eades, Turner, Gonsalves. Obviously, Berrios was taken a few spots ahead of the pick we would lose and Gonsalves was taken later. We also sell low on Florimon and give up two other roster spots, essentially selling low on them as well. So, we give up to high picks and give up on three players to pick up a couple wins in a sub 500 season.
Add to this a price tag north of $20M/year and I really canít imagine there is a GM anywhere that concludes the cost is worthy of the benefit. It seems more prudent to take a shot at Tanaka or one of the front of the rotation starters that should be available next year. They can also pursue Florimon with the benefit of the added clarity provided by another year of experience for Florimon. Things also change a bit if they take Turner or Sanatana/Polanco make big strides.
Beside all of the above, the biggest unknown for the future is corner outfielders. Another year should clarify that part of our future as well. Perhaps the best use of FA dollars will be a corner outfielder, perhaps one of an international flavor that does not cost us prospects and is young enough to be part of the long-term future of this team.
These are the kinda of players that may not hamstring the budget as of now, but they would likely prevent us from signing similar or better players at their respective positions in the future. If they preform below their career averages from here on, I'm not sure they give us the competitive advantage now or in the future.
I'd only sign them if they demand less than four years. It's hard for me to imagine Drew playing SS well at 35. I didn't think Morales was necessarily worth the qualifying offer, much less additional years.
Also something to consider: if Sano can't stick at third, he'll have to share first base with Mauer and that means both DH.
I wouldnt go near any kind of 4/40 type deals for Morales or Drew. Both are solid players but the draft pick is really hurting their market value. I know Ryan disdains giving up prospects but if they could swoop in & land the pair on 3/25 deals giving up a 2nd & a 3rd I could see Ryan reluctantly pulling the trigger.