Rasmus, Wieters, Anderson Accept Qualifying Offers: Reaction and Analysis

Courtesy of foxsports.com
Courtesy of foxsports.com

Colby Rasmus, Matt Wieters and Brett Anderson have all made baseball history, as they are the first three players to accept a qualifying offer extended from their team. Here is more information on what qualifying offers are and how they are utilized in the MLB today.

Qualifying offers have been a major factor in free agency the past couple seasons because of how they affect the market for players who turn down the qualifying offer. Overall, I think that this is good that pending free agents will accept these deals as it makes teams a little more wary to attach draft pick compensation to a free agent.

I will break down what accepting the qualifying offer means for the free agent and analyze how it will affect each teams’ plans for free agency.

 

Houston Astros Outfielder Colby Rasmus: The Astros made it widely known that they wanted Rasmus to accept the offer. The Astros felt the getting Rasmus on a one year deal, even at $15.8 million, would be beneficial to the team because they would have a difficult time replacing Rasmus’ production on the free agent market. I think that Rasmus has really good power, having hit 25 homers last season and averaging 22 home runs in his past four seasons. However, Rasmus has a home run or nothing swing and it shows in his batting average. He has hit .238 and .225 in his last two seasons respectively and just doesn’t show me the middle of the order bat that Houston is paying for. The good thing about the deal is that it is only for one year and if Rasmus has a dip in production the Astros can cut ties with him. However, I’m a fan of paying players what their value is and Rasmus to me doesn’t represent a player that should be making close to $16 million in a season. For Rasmus, he gets a good deal and will be able to prove himself. But, I think he would have scored a multi-year contract in free agency and if he has a down year it could extremely hurt his value.

Should he have gotten the qualifying offer: NO

Should he have accepted the qualifying offer: NO

 

Baltimore Orioles Catcher Matt Wieters: Matt Wieters is probably the most interesting case of any of the players who were extended a qualifying offer. Wieters was clearly that best catcher on the market and there were a lot of teams looking to improve behind the plate. But he also has been injured in past seasons and may not have gotten the value he wanted on the open market. If I was Scott Boras, I would have heavily advised the all-star catcher to decline the offer and test free agency. The reason for this is that Wieters is now 30 years old and he was the clear top option on the market for teams looking for a catcher. Catchers decline at a faster rate than any other position in the league and the market may look much different a year from now if he struggles or gets banged up next season. Wieters is still very good behind the plate, but has been inconsistent offensively. Watching him; his bat looks slow and he just isn’t making the hard contact he was a couple of seasons ago. For the Orioles, I would have not even given Wieters the chance to take the qualifying offer. The Orioles have two lower end starting backstops already in Caleb Joseph and Steve Clevenger. In fact, the Orioles went to the American League Championship with Joseph as their primary option, which shows that the team doesn’t need him to win. Here’s a look at both Joseph’s and Wieters numbers last season.

Joseph: 100 games/.234/.299/.394/11 hr/2.2 WAR

Wieters: 75 games/.267/.319/.422/8 hr/0.8 WAR

Now Wieters has better the better numbers, but Joseph will be making around $14 million less than Wieters next season. I don’t think that the difference in value justifies spending that much more money on Wieters, even if it’s only for one season. If Baltimore goes out and fills all their needs with the free agents they are losing, than paying Wieters makes a little more sense. But, if the Orioles do not fill needs do to payroll reasons, than it makes very little sense. In my opinion, the Orioles are not known for spending a lot of money in free agency and this deal will limit the amount of money they will spend this offseason.

Should he have gotten the qualifying offer: NO

Should he have accepted the qualifying offer: NO

 

Los Angeles Dodgers Pitcher Brett Anderson: This to me was by far the biggest overpay among the qualifying offers, but that’s just how the Dodgers run business. The Dodgers have the highest payroll in the MLB and have the money to spend on players who don’t deserve how much they give them. While I don’t think that the Dodgers should have given Anderson that much money, I understand the logic behind the move. Anderson came back from injury and had a really solid season, posting a 3.69 ERA in 31 starts. I just don’t think this numbers justify giving him $15.8 million. But the Dodgers play by different rules than everyone else and if he declined and accepted a deal with another team, they would get draft pick compensation. If he took the offer, he would be pitching on a one year contract on a deal that the Dodgers can pay, which is what happened. I just think the Dodgers could have used that money on a better starting pitcher. For Anderson, I think accepting the deal was a no brainer. No team would have given him that much money after suffering multiple injuries and having one solid season. He will look to build off his production last year, while making a lot of money in the process.

Should he have received the qualifying offer: NO

Should he have accepted the qualifying offer: YES

 

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