Under the new collective bargaining agreement Type A and Type B free agent designations have been ditched in favor of teams needing to make a “qualifying offer” to free agents in order to receive compensation for their departure.
Qualifying offers are basically one-year deals for the average salary of the top 125 highest-paid players, which equals $13.3 million for 2013. Players have until next Friday to accept or decline the qualifying offer, and if they decline and sign elsewhere the old team gets a first-round pick as compensation and the new team is stripped of a first-round pick.
Today was the deadline to make qualifying offers and the following free agents received one:
– Josh Hamilton, Rangers
– David Ortiz, Red Sox
– Rafael Soriano, Yankees
– Nick Swisher, Yankees
– Hiroki Kuroda, Yankees
– B.J. Upton, Rays
– Kyle Lohse, Cardinals
– Michael Bourn, Braves
– Adam LaRoche, Nationals
For a lot of those guys there’s zero chance of the qualifying offer being accepted. Kuroda seems like the best bet to simply take the one-year deal.
Prominent free agents who did not receive qualifying offers (but are still able to re-sign):
– Mike Napoli, Rangers
– Torii Hunter, Angels
– Shaun Marcum, Brewers
– Francisco Rodriguez, Brewers
– Angel Pagan, Giants
– Edwin Jackson, Nationals
A report from the Baltimore Sun’s Dan Connolly suggests that free agent catcher Welington Castillo currently tops the Orioles’ list of potential backstop targets for the 2017 season. With Matt Wieters on the market, the Orioles lack a suitable platoon partner for Caleb Joseph behind the dish, and Connolly adds that the club has been discussing a multi-year deal with Castillo’s representatives since the Winter Meetings.
Castillo batted .264/.322/.423 with the Diamondbacks in 2016, racking up 14 home runs and driving in a career-high 68 RBI in 457 PA. His bat provides much of his upside, and Connolly quoted an anonymous National League scout who believes that the 29-year-old’s defensive profile has fallen short of his potential in recent years.
For better or worse, both the Orioles and Castillo appear far from locking in a deal for 2017. Both the Rays and Braves have expressed interest in the veteran catcher during the past week, while the Orioles are reportedly considering Wieters, Nick Hundley and Chris Iannetta as alternatives behind the plate.
The Phillies reportedly signed veteran outfielder Daniel Nava to a minor league contract, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Nava began the season on a one-year contract with the Angels, during which he slashed .235/.309/.303 through 136 PA in the first half of 2016. He was flipped to the Royals in late August for a player to be named later and saw the remainder of his year go down the drain on an .091 average through 12 PA in Anaheim. After getting the boot from the Angels’ 40-man roster in November, the 33-year-old outfielder elected free agency.
Nava is expected to compete for a bench role on the Phillies’ roster in the spring. As it currently stands, the club’s projected 2017 outfield features Howie Kendrick and Odubel Herrera, with precious little depth behind them. Nava’s bat is underwhelming, but at the very least he offers the Phillies a warm body in left field and a potential platoon partner for one of their younger options, a la Tyler Goeddel or Roman Quinn.