With the passing of the deadline for teams to make qualifying offers to potential Free Agents, the market is beginning to take shape. A total of thirteen players have received the 1-year, $14.1 million offer from their current teams and now have a week to decide whether or not to test the open market.
Topping the list are Robinson Cano, Shin-Soo Choo, and Jacoby Ellsbury. All three players are expected to land long term deals, perhaps in excess of $100 million. As for Cano, the number $300 million has been thrown around. Don’t expect the Astros to be courting the Yankees second-baseman. In reality, the fact that all of these players would cost the Astros their second round pick in the upcoming draft makes them less likely to be targeted by Jeff Luhnow and Jim Crane.
Matt Garza (Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports)
A couple of pitchers that, surprisingly, didn’t receive offers are Matt Garza and Ricky Nolasco. Apparently the Rangers and Dodgers think they are better off spending their money elsewhere. While I’m not completely sold on Nolasco, I think Garza has great stuff and could land a nice contract this winter.
As for the Astros, I still think Dan Haren and/or Josh Johnson (neither of whom would cost a draft pick) should be on the radar. Haren might cost a little more but is probably a better bet to serve as a much needed innings eater. Johnson is more of a risk, but could pay off if signed to an incentive laden contract.