Matt Wieters, Chris Davis, and Wei-Yin Chen were made qualifying offers by the Baltimore Orioles yesterday. The players all have seven days to accept of decline these offers. If they accept, they’ll get a one-year contract in the neighborhood of $15.8 million from the Orioles. If they decline and ultimately sign elsewhere, the Orioles will get a compensatory draft pick from the team that signs them.
Players never accept qualifying offers, so this is merely a formality. However it does serve a purpose given the bit about the draft pick, which would in theory provide a manner by which the Birds could replenish their far system. All three players are represented by Scott Boras, who’s generally in a greedy mood this time of year.
Courtesy of Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports
According to Roch Kubatko of masnsports.com, there were varying opinions in the Warehouse as to whether the Orioles should make the qualifying offer to Wieters. As I said, players just don’t take those offers in general. However there were some in the industry who thought there might be a chance Wieters would consider taking it. That of course puts the Orioles on the hook for almost $16 million for a catcher coming off of Tommy John surgery.
Call to the Pen
In my view if he takes the offer, it benefits the Orioles. While Davis is and has to be their first priority, they’re a better team with Matt Wieters than without him. Furthermore I share the view of many in that they’re still smarting after not making a qualifying offer to Nick Markakis last off season. Markakis of course was a career Oriole who was offered a sweetheart deal by Atlanta; at least with a qualifying offer they would have gotten some sort of compensation.
Chen of course is one of the lesser-publicized players to be hitting the free agent market from the O’s this year, however I would submit that he’s equally as important as anyone else. Either way, I’m sure that Boras will be working the phoes all week to see about the market for each of these players – and others. Davis specifically I’m sure will command an annual salary of $5-$10 million above the qualifying offer.
Time will tell how the off season shakes down. But as of this morning teams can officially negotiate with anyone. In other words, all free agents are now officially on the open market. Let the games begin.