As expected the Rangers made a qualifying offer to free agent Josh Hamilton, ensuring they’ll receive a first-round draft pick as compensation if he signs elsewhere as a free agent.
They did not, however, make a qualifying offer to Mike Napoli, so the free agent catcher can walk without the Rangers getting anything in return. He’s also free to re-sign with Texas.
Under the new collective bargaining agreement Type A and Type B free agents are no more, so instead if teams want to get compensation for a departing free agent they must make him a qualifying offer that amounts to a one-year deal for the average salary of the 125 highest-paid players.
For next season that is $13.3 million, which the Rangers deemed too much for Napoli in case he accepted. Hamilton has until next Friday to accept or decline, but he’ll obviously turn it down in search of a much bigger multi-year deal.
We’ll have a full round-up of all the qualifying offer decisions once the 5:00 p.m. ET deadline arrives.
Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reports that the Red Sox are considering using Mookie Betts at second base when the Dodgers host Game 3, 4, and 5 of the World Series in Los Angeles. That would allow J.D. Martinez to remain in the lineup as an outfielder, since the DH rule would not be in effect.
Betts, 26, has played a bit of second base in the big leagues. He played 122 innings there in his rookie season in 2014 and played another six innings there on August 3 this year against the Yankees. Betts also entered Boston’s minor league system as a middle infielder, so it’s not like the Red Sox are asking someone completely unqualified to handle the position. Given what else we know about Mookie Betts, such as the fact he can solve a Rubik’s cube in less than two minutes and he has bowled a 300 in the Professional Bowlers Association, he is basically good at anything he decides to do.
That being said, Betts was noticeably not very productive at the plate during the ALCS against the Astros. He hit just .217 with no home runs in 25 plate appearances. The Red Sox are certainly hoping he heats up against the Dodgers.