The season just ended, but it’s already time to think about qualifying offers for impending free agents. For those unfamiliar, teams must give qualifying offers to their free agents if they want to receive draft pick compensation. The player has the ability to accept the qualifying offer (which will be a one-year, $15.8 million contract this time around), but if they turn it down and sign a contract elsewhere, the team nets a compensatory draft pick for 2016. Likewise, the signing team surrenders a draft pick.
Players like David Price and Yoenis Cespedes can’t receive qualifying offers from the Blue Jays and Mets respectively since they were acquired midseason. However, those who were with the same team for all of 2015 are eligible. One such player who falls under this classification is Matt Wieters. According to ESPN’s Buster Olney, the Orioles are expected to give him a qualifying offer by Friday’s 5 p.m. ET deadline.
Wieters is an interesting case since he appeared in just 75 games this season after Tommy John surgery while batting .267 with eight home runs and a .742 OPS (100 OPS+). But he’s the No. 1 catcher on the market and doesn’t turn 30 until next April. He’ll almost certainly land a lucrative multi-year contract somewhere. This is one of those situations where a qualifying offer should be an easy call. At the very worst, he’d accept and the Orioles would have him on a one-year deal. That seems unlikely, even off what wasn’t an ideal walk year.
Assuming Wieters receives the qualifying offer, he will have one week to decide whether to accept or reject.
After a condensed 60-game regular season, the MLB playoffs kicked off this week with an usual 16-team format that you can read more about below, but one of the many questions on everyone’s mind is whether or not fans will be allowed to attend MLB playoff games.
Will fans be allowed to go to MLB playoff games?
There have been no spectators at any games this season but fans will finally have the opportunity to go to the NL Championship Series and World Series at new Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas–one of the few states allowing spectators to attend events this year. The NLCS is scheduled on seven straight days from Oct. 12-18 and the World Series from Oct. 20-28, with traditional off days between Games 2 and 3 and Games 5 and 6, if the Series goes that far. Major League Baseball said Wednesday that about 11,500 tickets will be available for each game.
Below is the format and locations for each round. Unlike the regular season, there will be a bubble setup for each series in the postseason with the exception of the Wild Card round. Click here for the MLB schedule and scoreboard.
MLB Playoffs Format
Wild Card Series (Best-of-three): September 29 – October 2
All games will be held at the higher seed’s ball park.
No. 1 Rays vs. No. 8 Blue Jays
No. 2 Athletics vs. No. 7 White Sox
No. 3 Twins vs. No. 6 Astros
No. 4 Cleveland vs. No. 5 Yankees
No. 1 Dodgers vs. No. 8 Brewers
No. 2 Braves vs. No. 7 Reds
No. 3 Cubs vs. No. 6 Marlins
No. 4 Padres vs. No. 5 Cardinals
Division Series (Best-of-five): October 5 -10
The American League Division Series will be contested at Petco Park in San Diego and Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles. The National League Division Series will be held at Globe Life Field in Arlington, Texas and Minute Maid Park in Houston.
League Championship Series (Best-of-seven): October 11-18
The American League Championship Series will be held at Petco Park in San Diego while the National League Championship Series will take place at Globe Life Field in Arlington.
World Series (Best-of-seven): October 20-28
The World Series will be held at Globe Life Field in Arlington. Home field advantage will go to the team with the best regular-season record.
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