Carlos Quentin retired back in May, calling it quits while playing at Triple-A for the Mariners, but now Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports that the 33-year-old former All-Star outfielder is making a comeback.
Injuries played a big part in Quentin’s decline and subsequent semi-retirement, so after sitting out the past six months perhaps he’s feeling healthier.
As recently as 2013 he hit .275 with 13 homers, 21 doubles, and an .855 OPS in 82 games for the Padres and Quentin topped an .800 OPS every season from 2010-2013 before collapsing to a .177 batting average in 2014.
However, his lack of defensive ability limits his potential landing spots and given his durability issues it seems likely that any team targeting Quentin would be doing so with a part-time role in mind.
We’ve been tracking qualifying offer news all day as it rolled in, but with the deadline upon us here’s the complete list of all 20 free agents to get the one-year, $15.8 million QO:
Brett Anderson, Dodgers
Wei-Yin Chen, Orioles
Chris Davis, Orioles
Ian Desmond, Nationals
Marco Estrada, Blue Jays
Dexter Fowler, Cubs
Yovani Gallardo, Rangers
Alex Gordon, Royals
Zack Greinke, Dodgers
Jason Heyward, Cardinals
Hisashi Iwakuma, Mariners
Howie Kendrick, Dodgers
Ian Kennedy, Padres
John Lackey, Cardinals
Daniel Murphy, Mets
Colby Rasmus, Astros
Jeff Samardzija, White Sox
Justin Upton, Padres
Matt Wieters, Orioles
Jordan Zimmermann, Nationals
Twenty is the all-time record for free agents to get a qualifying offer, easily breaking the old record of 13.
Players can accept or decline the one-year, $15.8 million contract to return to their original team. If they decline and sign elsewhere, their original team receives draft pick compensation and their new team forfeits a draft pick.
During the first three years of the qualifying offer system zero free agents accepted, but there are at least a handful of potential takers this time around led by mid-level free agents like Marco Estrada, Colby Rasmus, John Lackey, Brett Anderson, and Ian Kennedy.
David DeJesus is a free agent, as the Angels declined the veteran outfielder’s $5 million option for 2016 and paid him a $1 million buyout instead.
DeJesus was acquired from the Rays at the trade deadline, but played sparingly for the Angels down the stretch while hitting just .125.
At age 36 it’s possible DeJesus is no longer a viable regular in a corner outfield spot, but he did post a solid .748 OPS in 2014 and has a career .275 batting average with a .761 OPS in 13 seasons as a big leaguer.
Jeff Samardzija had a miserable walk year, posting a 4.96 ERA in 214 innings while allowing the most hits, home runs, and earned runs in the American League, but it didn’t stop the White Sox from giving him the $15.8 million Qualifying Offer.
And it’s the right call, as Samardzija figures to turn down the one-year, $15.8 million contract and hit the open market as a free agent likely to have plenty of multi-year offers. If he does sign elsewhere, the White Sox will receive a first-round draft pick as compensation.
There’s no doubt that Samardzija hurt his free agent stock considerably this season, particularly after a breakout 2014 campaign had many people thinking he’d made the jump into No. 1 starter territory. But he can almost surely do much better than a one-year, $15.8 million deal even if the draft pick compensation being attached to signing him scares off some teams.
As expected the Mets have made the $15.8 million Qualifying Offer to free agent second baseman Daniel Murphy.
During the two-week stretch in which Murphy was doing a pretty solid Babe Ruth impression there was lots of talk about him cashing in with a huge long-term contract on the open market, but even a less hyperbolic projection would likely convince him to turn down a one-year, $15.8 million deal to remain in New York.
If he turns it down and signs elsewhere the Mets would receive a first-round draft pick as compensation. Murphy hit .281 with 14 homers and a .770 OPS in the regular season, which is right in line with his lifetime .288 batting average and .755 OPS.