Bill Ladson of MLB.com reports that shortstop Ian Desmond has rejected the Nationals’ qualifying offer of $15.8 million. He’ll now hit the market with an unprotected draft pick attached to him and owing to the Nationals from whoever signs him.
Desmond is not coming off a good year, having hit .233/.290/.334 with 19 homers in 641 plate appearances. But that durability — he has played at least 154 games in five of his last six seasons — and the fact that the shortstop market is very thin these days means that he should get some offers for multi-year deals. It’s doubtful he’ll get anything approaching $15.8 million a year on those offers, but he’s definitely in a “maximize security, not salary” stage of his career, all things considered.
UPDATE: Um, well this is embarrassing. I wrote this post based on a Ken Rosenthal tweet that I swear said Ian Kennedy was accepting the qualifying offer. It’s not there now so either I just totally misread it or else the tweet was deleted, but now it’s clear: Ian Kennedy is rejecting the Padres’ qualifying offer.
Kennedy is coming off of a rough season in which he finished with a 4.28 ERA across 30 starts. He earned $9.85 million for the 2015 season, avoiding arbitration in his final year of eligibility. A contract for $15.8 million would be a nice bump, but apparently he and his agent decided to test the market.
Apologies for the bad post. Happens sometimes when you fire before you aim.
The possibility of this was first reported last night but now it’s official: Astros outfielder Colby Rasmus is the first player to accept a qualifying offer. He’ll be paid $15.8 million next season and cannot be traded without his consent before June 15 of next year. Before this year all 34 players who had previously received qualifying offers over the past three offseasons rejected them.
Twenty players received qualifying offers last week. Free agents have until 5 p.m. ET this afternoon to accept or decline their qualifying offers. You can view the complete list of QO-attached players here.
Rasmus, 29, hit 25 home runs and posted a .789 OPS over 137 games in 2015. That’s pretty good, but in an offseason with a pretty crowded free agent market for outfielders, he no doubt figured $15.8 million in hand was worth more than whatever he and his agent could find in the bush. And maybe he just liked playing in Houston, which is the first stop in his career where he appears to be well-liked by team brass and his teammates. That has to count for something.
ESPN’s Buster Olney reports that the Giants are among the clubs “going through background preparation” on David Price.
Which makes a lot of sense given that they’re saying goodbye to Tim Hudson this year and that, beyond Madison Bumgarner, the rotation was no great shakes in 2015. The Giants, flush with a sellout streak and an election victory which is going to allow them to rake in a lot more money in the next few years, are suspected to be in search of top-flight pitching this winter and David Price is as top-flight as it gets.
The idea of running onto a baseball field during a game used to be mildly cute. At least if you weren’t violent or dumb or something. Morganna the Kissing Bandit was sort of fun in a “we didn’t think too hard about a lot of things in the 70s and early 80s” kind of way. Streakers were hilarious for about 15 minutes back in 1974. Since then? Some ne’er-do-wells occasionally run onto the field but they’re apprehended and quickly forgotten. Or apprehended and immortalized.
Do it now, though, and it’s serious business:
A 19-year-old Indiana man is getting one year of probation and has been ordered to perform 100 hours of community service for running onto the field during a Cincinnati Reds home game in July.
That seems kinda stiff for a misdemeanor trespassing beef. I suppose in this paranoid and authoritarian day and age he should be thankful he wasn’t indicted on some sort of terrorism-at-a-public-event charge, but it still seems like a lot for a 50-yard run through an outfield and out again.