Phillies outright problematic Tyson Gillies from 40-man roster

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The Phillies outrighted outfielder Tyson Gillies from the 40-man roster earlier today, a formality given the outfielder’s on-the-field struggles. As the Philadelphia Inquirer’s Matt Gelb put it, however, it was the Phillies conceding another mistake. Gillies will remain in the organization, but the move severely impacts his chances of making the major leagues with the Phillies.

Gillies, 25, was one of the three players GM Ruben Amaro acquired in the Cliff Lee trade with the Seattle Mariners in December 2009. The other two players, Phillippe Aumont and J.C. Ramirez, have also disappointed, but Gillies is on another level. His baseball-related struggles were obvious. His OPS by year, starting with 2010, went .638, .462, .809, 685, .588. He battled leg injuries that sapped his speed, as he went from 44 stolen bases in 2009 with Single-A High Desert in the Mariners’ system to 31 in his entire time in the Phillies’ system.

Gillies made a habit out of throwing temper tantrums and was memorably involved in last year’s brawl between Team Canada and Team Mexico in the World Baseball Classic. On June 3, he was reportedly involved in a shouting match with his coaches. A few days prior, he went 0-for-5 and damaged a wall and bat rack outside the Lehigh Valley IronPigs’ clubhouse.

As for the other two members of the Lee trade, the Phillies outrighted Ramirez last October. Ramirez then elected free agency and later joined the Indians but he hasn’t done a whole lot for them. Aumont has been a tire fire, allowing two home runs in the only two games he has appeared in the big leagues this season, while walking 22 in 26 1/3 innings at Triple-A with a 4.44 ERA. The Lee trade with the Mariners, one could say, has not worked out well for the Phillies.

Report: Qualifying offer to be in the $18 million range

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According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, teams have been told that the qualifying offer to free agents this offseason will be in the $18 million range, likely $18.1 million. The value is derived by taking the average of the top 125 player salaries.

At $18.1 million, that would be $900,000 more than the previous QO, which was $17.2 million. This will impact soon-to-be free agents like Jake Arrieta, Eric Hosmer, Lorenzo Cain, Mike Moustakas, and Yu Darvish, among others. That also assumes that the aforementioned players aren’t traded, which would make them ineligible to receive qualifying offers. We’ve seen, increasingly, that teams aren’t willing to make a QO to an impending free agent and that trend is likely to continue this offseason.

The QO system was modified by the newest collective bargaining agreement. The compensatory pick for a team losing a player who declined a QO used to be a first-round pick. That was a penalty to both teams and players, which is why it was changed. Via MLB’s website pertaining to the QO:

A team that exceeded the luxury tax in the preceding season will lose its second- and fifth-highest selections after the first round in the following year’s Draft as well $1 million from its international bonus pool. If such a team signs multiple qualifying offer free agents, it will forfeit its third- and sixth-highest remaining picks as well.

A team that receives revenue sharing will lose its third-highest selection after the first round in the following year’s Draft. If it signs two such players, it will also forfeit its fourth-highest remaining pick.

A team that neither exceeded the luxury tax in the preceding season nor receives revenue sharing will lose its second-highest selection after the first round in the following year’s Draft as well as $500,000 from its international bonus pool. If it signs two such players, it will also forfeit its third-highest remaining pick.

Additionally, if a player who rejected a QO signs a guaranteed contract worth at least $50 million and came from a team that receives revenue sharing, that previous team will receive a compensatory pick immediately following the first round in the ensuing draft. If the contract is less than $50 million, that team will get a compensatory pick after Competitive Balance Round B. If the player’s team is over the luxury tax threshold, that team will receive a compensation pick following the fourth round. If that team neither exceeded the luxury tax nor receives revenue sharing, the compensation pick will come after Competitive Balance Round B.

Yeah, it’s a bit convoluted, but you do the best you can with a flawed system.

The Astros’ pursuit of Sonny Gray is “heating up”

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Jon Morosi of MLB Networks reports that talks are “heating up” between the Astros and Athletics on a Sonny Gray trade. Gray, obviously, would represent a big upgrade for the Astros’ rotation. He has a 3.66 ERA and has struck out 85 batters while walking 28 in 91 innings.

Morosi adds that Gray is not the only option for the Astros, as they are also talking to the Tigers about a potential acquisition of Justin Verlander and Justin Wilson. That would obviously be a much tougher deal to negotiate given Verlander’s 10/5 rights giving him veto power over any trade, not to mention the massive amount of money he’s still owed on his contract.

Also: I’m pretty sure that it’s in the MLB rules that any trade between the Tigers and the Astros has to involve Brad Ausmus, C.J. Nitkowski and Jose Lima, and that’s not possible given their current occupations and/or their deaths in 2010.