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Nine players received qualifying offers

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Teams had until 5PM yesterday afternoon to make a qualifying offer — a one-year contract at $17.4 million — to prospective free agents. Players who received a qualifying offer have until November 16 to accept or reject the offer.

If they accept, that’s their deal for 2018. If they reject it, any team that signs them has to forfeit a draft pick next summer, with said pick being determined by the competitive and financial status of the signing team, with top first round picks being exempt (you can read the details here). The team losing the player does not get the surrendered pick, but they do receive a compensation pick after the second round. The upshot to the rejecting player, of course, is that he suddenly becomes a bit more costly to teams who would sign him, given that they’ll have to pay him and will lose a draft pick.

So, who got the qualifying offers this year? These guys:

Carlos Santana, Indians
Mike Moustakas, Royals
Eric Hosmer, Royals
Lorenzo Cain, Royals
Lance Lynn, Cardinals
Alex Cobb, Rays
Greg Holland, Rockies
Jake Arrieta, Cubs
Wade Davis, Cubs

Only five players have ever accepted qualifying offers: Jeremy Hellickson and Neil Walker last year and Colby RasmusMatt Wieters and Brett Anderson the year before. It ended up being a good move for all of them, as it wasn’t at all clear that there was a market for them such that rejecting it seemed like a great idea.

It’s hard to see anyone who will accept the qualifying offer this year, however. Moustakas and Hosmer are both under 30 and can expect multi-year offers. Santana and Cain are each above average everyday players who can likewise expect to find better deals than 1-year, $17.4 million. Pitching is always at a premium on the open market, so a former Cy Young winner like Arrieta, a couple of 30-year-old starters like Lynn and Cobb and a couple of top closers in Davis and Holland should do OK too.

They have until November 16 to think it over, but at the moment, it would be a surprise if any of these guys took their $17.4 million and went back to their old teams.

Report: Padres acquire Tommy Pham from Rays

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Kevin Acee of the San Diego Union-Tribune reports that the Padres have acquired outfielder Tommy Pham from the Rays in exchange for outfielder Hunter Renfroe and Single-A middle infielder Xavier Edwards. The Padres are also expected to receive an as yet unknown prospect from the Rays.

Pham, 31, is entering his second year of arbitration eligibility and is projected to earn $8.6 million for the 2020 season. This past season with the Rays, Pham was valued at 3.7 Wins Above Replacement according to Baseball Reference, playing solid defense while batting .273/.369/.450 with 21 home runs, 68 RBI, 77 runs scored, and 25 stolen bases over 654 plate appearances.

Renfroe, 27, is entering his first year of arbitration eligibility as a Super Two player. MLB Trade Rumors projects him to earn a $3.4 million salary in 2020. He’s coming off of a campaign in which he set a career-high in home runs with 33 while batting .216/.289/.489 with 64 RBI and 64 runs scored across 494 trips to the plate.

Edwards, 20, was selected by the Padres in the first round (38th overall) of the 2018 draft and was ranked as the No. 5 prospect in the organization, per MLB Pipeline. He spent 2019 between Single-A Fort Wayne and High-A Lake Elsinor, batting a combined .322/.375/.396 with 27 extra-base hits, 43 RBI, 76 runs scored, and 34 stolen bases in 561 PA.

The Padres needed to upgrade the offense in the outfield as the club ranked in the bottom-third of the league with an aggregate .740 OPS from all three outfield spots. The club sent Franmil Reyes, who put up an .849 OPS for the Padres over the first four months of 2019, to the Indians at the trade deadline. Wil Myers put up a slightly below average .739 OPS and Manuel Margot posted a light .691 OPS.

It will be interesting to see if the Rays can level up Renfroe. He certainly hits for power but he will need to work on his on-base skills if he is going to help this trade pan out well for the Rays. Edwards will help as well, as he is rated No. 72 overall among prospects across the league, according to MLB Pipeline. Along with the talent acquired in the trade, the Rays save a bit of money swapping Pham for Renfroe.