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.