MLB Qualifying Offer: Does it matter to the Pittsburgh Pirates?

News: Today at five o’clock eastern time it was the MLB Qualifying Offer deadline.  Ten players total received qualifying offer.

The MLB Qualifying Offer system is one of the biggest flaws in the MLB.  It is one that likely will be revised this off-season as the league and the player’s union look to get a new CBA done.  With that being said, the MLB Qualifying Offer system is what it is and we as fans have to deal with it.  This year the offer was one year at 17.2 million dollars.  This is up from last year’s offer which was one year at 15.8 million dollars.

Bucs Recent History

The Pittsburgh Pirates are one of the few teams that do not have to offer qualifying offers.  Typically they either deal their worthy players before they reach free agency or extend them.  The last time the Pittsburgh Pirates offered a qualifying offer it was to Russell Martin.  If you do not remember the Bucs extended him one in the 2014-15 off-season and he signed with the Toronto Blue Jays.  Because of MLB Qualifying Offer system the Pirates picked up an extra first round pick for the 2015 draft.  That pick turned into third base prospect Ke’Bryan Hayes.  This year the Pittsburgh Pirates did not have any players who were worthy of an offer.

Last year the MLB saw twenty players receive qualifying offers, which was a record.  Also for the first time the MLB saw a player accept their offer.  Actually two players accepted offers in Baltimore catcher Matt Weiters and Houston outfielder Colby Rasmus.  This year the 10 players received MLB Qualifying Offers.  This is down, but this is mainly because of the overall weakness of the 2016-17 free agent class.  This class has been called one of the weakest in recent history.

The Pittsburgh Pirates have always stayed out of this market.  The main reason is because these players cost a teams first round draft pick if signed.  The small market Pirates are a team built through their minor league system first, and that is why they will not forfeit picks.  The other reason is because the players who receive these offers are considered among the best free agents.  The Pirates are never involved with the best free agents because they “cannot afford them”.

 If the Bucs did decide to get involved in the MLB Qualifying Offer market this year, here is who they would be looking at:

Remember players who were traded at the deadline are not eligible to receive a MLB Qualifying Offer.  So for instance, Mark Melancon was not eligible to receive one from the Washington Nationals after being dealt by the Bucs on July 30th.  This is why you see some of the names like Mark Melancon, Aroldis Chapman, Rich Hill and Ivan Nova given one.  Also two players left off was Wilson Ramos.  Ramos seemed to be a lock to get one, but he tore his ACL at the end of the season.  The Bucs likely will not look to sign any of these players as only one is a starting pitcher which is their primary need. The Bucs will find starting pitcher else where rather than forfeit their 13th overall pick next year.

Also List from MLB Trade Rumors

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