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MLB Trade Rumors: The Qualifying Offer (QO) System

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#1 JB_Iowa


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Posted 13 March 2014 - 08:19 AM

Jeff Todd has a thought-provoking piece about the Qualifying Offer system over at mlb trade rumors:


There is a lot to think about in this piece and I'm really looking forward to his follow-up article on what the QO system accomplishes.

This first installment goes to the question of Fundamental Fairness. Was it fair that Santana had to deal with the impact of a QO when Garza (a seemingly better pitcher) did not because he was lucky enough to be traded mid-season? What impact does the QO system have on the entire free agency process? Will the number of QOs increase? Will players ever start accepting QOs?

It is going to be interesting to see how this issue develops before the CBA is renewed.

EDIT: The follow-up blog is now posted (sorry for the delay in catching it):


I haven't read it yet but will probably post something down below after I do. Just thought I'd put both links in the top post.

Edited by JB_Iowa, 16 March 2014 - 10:17 AM.

#2 ashburyjohn


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Posted 13 March 2014 - 01:05 PM

It's probably hard to tweak the CBA between the major negotiations, but the QO has had enough unintended consequences that I expect a tweak will happen.

#3 Willihammer



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Posted 15 March 2014 - 07:31 PM

Boras threatening to hold out till June with Drew and Morales (when they become detached from the comp picks)


#4 twinsfan34


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Posted 15 March 2014 - 09:11 PM

I don't think the QO is a problem, those players have $14.1M sitting on the table and they turned it down.

As the old saying goes, one bird in your hand is better than two in the bush.

The rule works fine, those players had $14.1M for 2014 and didn't take it. That's their own problem that they miss gauged the market.

As Kenny Rogers said,

You've got to know when to hold 'em
Know when to fold 'em
Know when to walk away
Know when to run

Edited by ashburyjohn, 15 March 2014 - 10:16 PM.
no reason to call people names

#5 kab21


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Posted 15 March 2014 - 10:25 PM

It's probably hard to tweak the CBA between the major negotiations, but the QO has had enough unintended consequences that I expect a tweak will happen.

There were some rumors that comp picks and the penalties associated with this would be removed in the next CBA. I doubt anything will be reworked before this CBA is finished but there are only two more offseasons until the next CBA is negotiated.

FWIW - this isn't particularly unusual that a couple of FA's haven't signed yet. The new CBA just made the names bigger since the QO is 14ish M compared to 4-6M in arbitration in the old system.

There is one renegotiation that could take place since both sides give a little to get what they want. The union wants the QO gone (or at least the draft pick penalty) while the owners want an int'l draft with stiffer penalties. As currently constructed both of these are not working. There is no good reason that very good players should be unsigned right now and several teams are making a mockery of the int'l FA slotting system and lack of real penalties.

#6 Dance with Disco Dan

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Posted 16 March 2014 - 08:08 AM

Thanks for the link to the article. I enjoy reading detailed analyses like that one.

This topic has been driving me mildly bananas in the way its discussed in the media. Analysts and reporters work the word "unfair" into nearly everything I read or watch on the issue. The implication is that because it is unfair it must be removed from the CBA. In my estimation, the reporters themselves don't get it or (more likely) they think the public is too dim to get it. Either way, the conversation has been reduced to "Bad things are bad. Bad things go away makes things Good."

This system was INTENDED to be unfair. It is a mechanism with no other purpose than to give teams a better chance at keeping certain free agents by placing a substantial drag (draft choice compensation) on their free-market value. Every person involved in negotiating the CBA understood the purpose of this rule. It'd be incredibly heartening to hear one player, agent, or even a mainstream media member acknowledge that everyone on the players' side of the table understood what was being agreed to and that it was deemed acceptable in light of the other concessions made by the owners. It'd be nice to hear someone with a national voice say, "Yes, it stinks to be in Drew's or Santana's position but the players union bargained for other and/or greater benefits at the expense of a few its members' free agency. The union and the players continue to reap these other and greater benefits, so any discussion that involves doing away with the qualifying offer system must also contemplate some concession by the players."

There is just something irksome (to me, obviously) about one side of a deal complaining about a provision without acknowledging that they were compensated for the very thing they are complaining about. BTW, the same thing goes on in the NFL with the transition tag. No doubt, it truly sucks when you're the player the provisions impact directly but the players as a whole have benefited in other ways and the unions decided that they were acceptable trade-offs. I have yet to hear a QO free agent or transition tag player take their unions to task for agreeing to the provisions in the first place. It'd be refreshing.

Now whether the QO is working or has unintended consequences that make it less effective than anticipated, is another conversation entirely.

Edited by Dance with Disco Dan, 16 March 2014 - 08:18 AM.

#7 JB_Iowa


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Posted 16 March 2014 - 11:14 AM

Second installment makes me think more about impact on clubs (small market v. larger market) more than about the disparate impact on players.

Not sure what to think about all of this other than that it deserves more analysis as more impact data develops.