Something happened this offseason, that could be significant down the road, the first rain drops of a possible oncoming storm.
Players signed qualifying offers.
Until this year, there had been 30+ such offers, and nobody had signed them. GM’s could offer them freely, knowing that they’d get a compensatory draft pick in return.
Thus year though, several players (Colby Rasmus and Matt Wieters come to mind offhand) signed their offers.
It seemed like a simple enough thing, players signing offers to rebuild value (Weiters), or get more in a single season contract on a per year basis than they would’ve in multi-year contract (Rasmus).
I totally understand why they did it. Wieters, for example, is a former all-star who’s been beset with injuries. He looks healthy now, and took the one year flyer to show he can stay on the field. If he does that and produces like he’s done in the past, he could be in line for some money and security. Makes total sense on his part.
The long term implications though could be interesting.
For starters, GM’s may be more hesitant next year to make those offers. After all, 15.3 million dollars isn’t a small sum of money. Several players offered multiple players those qualifying offers. Baltimore, for example, offered three. Wieters, Chris Davis, and Wei-Yin Chen. Imagine if all 3 signed? 45.9 million dollars of your budget gone.
Flip side is the Stephen Drew effect: Offer rejected, and nobody signs you for what you think your worth. Many players will have Drew on their minds when it comes to QO’s now. And when those players don’t get Qualifying Offers and up signing smaller contracts it may upset the union. After all, one time is an anomaly, but if it starts to happen repeatedly? There could be some grumbling.
Just some food for thought.
As always, thanks for reading.