Author: Aaron Gleeman


Bids for Korean outfielder Ah-seop Son due Friday


Korean outfielder Ah-seop Son has officially been “posted” by his Korean Baseball Organization team and the bidding for his exclusive negotiating rights will close Friday.

Son isn’t the same level of player as multiple-time KBO MVP slugger Byung-ho Park, for whom the Twins won the bidding for $12.85 million two weeks ago, but he’s expected to generate plenty of interest from MLB teams.

Son, who’ll turn 28 years old in March, is a left-handed-hitting corner outfielder who batted .317 with 13 homers, 11 steals, and an .878 OPS this year and has very similar career marks.

Once the bids are received his KBO team will choose to accept or decline the highest offer. If they accept, the winning MLB team has a 30-day window in which to negotiate a separate contract with Son.

Deadline day: 3 of 20 free agents accept $15.8 million qualifying offer

Brett Anderson

This year a record 20 free agents received a qualifying offer valued at $15.8 million for one season and 16 of them declined it, hitting the open market.

Astros outfielder Colby Rasmus, Orioles catcher Matt Wieters, and Dodgers left-hander Brett Anderson accepted the one-year, $15.8 million offer to remain with their previous teams and Blue Jays right-hander Marco Estrada agreed to a two-year, $26 million deal prior to the accept/decline deadline.

Before this year no free agent had ever accepted a qualifying offer, so this represents a big shift in the process.

Below you’ll find the full lists.

Brett Anderson, Dodgers
Colby Rasmus, Astros
Matt Wieters, Orioles

Marco Estrada, Blue Jays

Wei-Yin Chen, Orioles
Chris Davis, Orioles
Ian Desmond, Nationals
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
Jeff Samardzija, White Sox
Justin Upton, Padres
Jordan Zimmermann, Nationals

Each of the 16 free agents to decline the qualifying offer now have draft pick compensation attached to signing them, which in some cases could significantly hurt their number of interested suitors.

Blue Jays, Marco Estrada agree to two-year, $26 million deal

Marco Estrada

Rather than accept or decline the one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer before today’s deadline right-hander Marco Estrada and the Blue Jays have agreed to a two-year, $26 million contract.

Estrada could have turned down the qualifying offer in search of a longer, bigger deal on the open market, but he risked potentially having to settle for less money if teams were scared off by the draft pick compensation attached to signing him.

And he could have accepted the qualifying offer and returned to Toronto for $15.8 million next season, but instead he’ll get an extra $10.2 million for a second year. It’s more or less the best of both worlds for a 32-year-old with a 3.95 lifetime ERA coming off a career-year.

Chris Davis, Wei-Yin Chen decline qualifying offers from Orioles

Chris Davis AP
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Baltimore made one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offers to three departing free agents and catcher Matt Wieters accepted, but first baseman Chris Davis and left-hander Wei-Yin Chen have declined.

That means Davis and Chen are both outright free agents and if they sign elsewhere the Orioles will receive a draft pick as compensation.

Davis’ projected market varies wildly depending on who you listen to–Jon Heyman of predicted he’ll get $182 million, which seems insane to me–but he figures to have enough interested suitors that forfeiting a draft pick to sign him won’t scare anyone off.

Chen could see his market somewhat limited by the attached draft pick compensation, although as a 30-year-old lefty with a 3.44 ERA in 377 innings during the past two seasons he shouldn’t have trouble securing a sizable multi-year deal.

Matt Wieters accepts $15.8 million qualifying offer from Orioles

Baltimore Orioles' Matt Wieters walks to the dugout after he struck out against the Minnesota Twins during the eighth inning of a baseball game, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2015, in Baltimore. The Twins won 3-2. (AP Photo/Nick Wass)

Colby Rasmus has company.

Jon Heyman of reports that Orioles catcher Matt Wieters is also accepting the one-year, $15.8 million qualifying offer, returning to Baltimore for 2016 rather than testing the open market as a free agent.

This is a much bigger surprise than Rasmus accepting the qualifying offer from the Astros, because the general consensus seemed to be that Wieters was set to cash in pretty big as the clear-cut best catcher available at 30.

However, he did miss most of 2014 and half of this year following Tommy John elbow surgery, so perhaps Wieters is banking on a healthy, productive 2016 campaign allowing him to hit the open market again next offseason with a much bigger demand.

Whatever the case, the Orioles have to be pretty happy about retaining an All-Star caliber catcher for a one-year commitment and a whole bunch of teams hoping to lure Wieters away from Baltimore are scrambling for other catching plans.