The Price of Qualifying

MLB has announced that a qualifying offer will cost $15.3 million this year. Only players who are free agents and have played the entire past season with a club may have an offer extended. If an offer is extended and rejected by the player, a club signing that player will forfeit its first draft pick in next June’s draft. If the offer is accepted, the player is signed for a one-year deal of $15.3 million.

This news gives the Yankees an interesting decision as they have two players who could get qualifying offers- Kuroda and Robertson. While it is a lot of money, I would absolutely give Robertson a qualifying offer. While it is a much bigger salary than he would otherwise get, it is a one year deal. And, if he rejects it, the Yankees pick up a draft pick. (They could theoretically also work out a longer deal with him, but that’s a different topic)  If Robertson accepts a qualifying offer, the Yankees will have their 1-2 punch in the bullpen back for another year.

As for Kuroda, I wouldn’t extend an offer. Kuroda has been a great addition to the Yankees and remarkably consistent during his time here, but he is going to be 40 next season. The Yankees need to get younger and the rotation is the one place where it is obvious that they can do so. Imagine a rotation next year of Tanaka, Pineda, Sabathia, Phelps and Greene with Nova working his way back in and Bryan Mitchell and Manny Banuelos waiting in the wings. Sabathia is the only guy in that group over 30, and he is only 33. Not everyone will work out in that group, but the Yankees have enough arms around that they can put together a reasonably strong rotation internally, and there are some other arms in the system that could help out  very soon.

Teams have until five days after the end of the World Series to make a qualifying offer.