The Baltimore Orioles have several holes in the 25-man roster this Hot Stove season. And, there are plenty of free agents with the skills that the team needs.
However, if the Baltimore Orioles decided to sign any of the free agents who received qualifying offers from their former teams, the Orioles will have a price to pay.
The qualifying offer for free agents in this Hot Stove season is a respectable $17.4 million. And, a handful of very good players received those offers. Not one of nine men who received qualifying offers has accepted it. This means that they are expected to receive more money from other teams.
There is at least one player on the list that could be of interest to the Orioles. Lance Lynn is a right-handed pitcher who could add value to the Orioles’ rotation. Lynn received his qualifying offer from the St. Louis Cardinals. Whether or not he re-signs with the Cardinals is up in the air.
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How the CBA works
If Lynn does decline the offer, the Cardinals will get something for their loss. By making that qualifying offer, the Cardinals will get some compensation – but only if Lynn is signed elsewhere.
Is Lynn worth the loss of a draft pick?
If the Orioles do decide to sign Lynn, they would get a good pitcher who has already had Tommy John surgery and has recovered nicely from it. They would also have to pay up with a contract that is bigger than the qualifying offer and with a draft pick. The latest MLB collective bargaining agreement states that non-disqualified revenue sharing teams give up their third-highest draft pick if they sign a qualifying free agent.
Would it be worth it for the Orioles to lose a draft pick in order to get a pitcher like Lance Lynn? Only if Lynn is not the only pitcher that the team signs. There are several holes to fill on the 2018 roster and the Orioles need to decide what direction it wants to go.
If the team is in “win-now” mode, then losing a draft pick is worth it to get big names. However, if Lynn is the only big name, then losing the draft pick could be problematic in the future. Kevin Gausman and Dylan Bundy could use a veteran pitcher like Lynn on the roster.