The Qualifying Offer
Johanna's View
by Johanna Wagner
The Qualifying Offer
This post was written by Johanna Wagner on November 4, 2012
Posted Under: Johanna's View

On Friday, teams had to have made “qualifying offers” to to their prospective free agents or risk losing them without any compensation.  The key here is what defines a qualifying offer.  From the new collective bargaining agreement, teams must offer their free agents at least a $13.3 million 1-yr contract in order to gain a draft pick in next year’s draft if the free agent signs somewhere else.

You might remember under the old system that there was this Type A and Type B free agents, and depending on a player’s status, depending on the type of compensation received by the team.

The $13.3 million number will change each year; it is determined by averaging the top 125 player salaries each season.  $13.3 million is a pretty high number, and teams have to be very sure they want that player to make that offer.  Many players of course would take less per year if offered a multi-year deal.  But this number insures that a team really wants the player.  Of course, should the player not accept the offer and signs elsewhere, the team that signs him will lose his draft pick.  That pick does not go to the team making the qualifying offer, however.  Instead the first two rounds will just be shorter- which will allow teams with picks late in the second round or early in the third to move up.  The team losing the free agent will get an extra pick at the end of the first round.  The first ten picks overall are protected, and the team can’t lose them even if they sign a free agent who was made a qualifying offer.

Also, players that become free agents in a season that they were traded to a new team won’t count towards the compensation system.  An example would be Zach Greinke who was traded to the Angels this season- the Angels cannot get a anything even if they were to make that 1-year contract.

Friday was the deadline for teams to make offers- the players have another week to accept those offers.  But with the offers made- free agency is underway.

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