Have the playoffs been going the way Orioles fans hoped for so far?
The teams that O’s fans seem to be rooting against are losing. The Yankees were eliminated by Houston in the American League wild card game. Then O’s fans have looked on as Texas has taken a 2-0 lead on the AL East champion Toronto Blue Jays in the American League Division Series. Let’s just say the Jays have a few players that have rubbed O’s fans the wrong way a time or two.
Most of you don’t seem very keen on the Kansas City Royals either, but they did win yesteray to even their ALDS with Houston at 1-1. But the AL East is 0-3 in the postseason so far and Toronto is a loss away from being eliminated.
Meanwhile Sports Business Journal reported yesterday that the qualifying offer value for this free agent class has been set at $15.8 million. The qualifying offer value is determined by averaging the 125 contracts league-wide that have the highest average annual values.
MLBTradeRumors.com posted this primer on qualifying offers last night:
“Teams can offer their departing free agents a one-year deal, at the established price tag, within five days of the conclusion of the World Series. Over the next seven days, players who receive the offer are allowed to talk with other teams and decide whether to take the single-season pact. If they reject it, then draft implications attach: their former team stands to gain a compensation pick in the following year’s draft, while a new signing team must give up their highest non-protected draft choice.”
Last winter, the Orioles made Nelson Cruz a qualifying offer, he turned it down and they got what turned out to be the 36th overall pick in the draft in June. With that pick, the O’s selected high school shortstop Ryan Mountcastle, who has quickly become one of their top prospects.
The Orioles have a decision to make on catcher Matt Wieters. Should they extend him the qualifying offer? No player has yet accepted the qualifying offer, but could Wieters be the first?
He would get a one-year deal worth $15.8 million to continue to play with a team he loves and in a city he loves. It would give him a chance to play all next year completely recovered from Tommy John surgery and then take another run at free agency after the 2016 season.
If the Orioles decide to not make Wieters the qualifying offer, they then would not risk spending $15.8 million on a catcher for next year and they could use Caleb Joseph and Steve Clevenger for about a total cost of $1 million for the 2016 season. Some in the industry believe the Orioles are prepared to do just that.
Coming off a season where he played just 75 games and was still recovering from surgery, Wieters is no longer a slam dunk to get a multi-year contract offer via free agency. The O’s are no longer consider a slam dunk to make him the qualifying offer.
A tough decision on Wieters as it pertains to the qualifying offer is soon coming. What should the Orioles do?