With MLB's Qualifying Offer System Unlikely To Change, Players Keep Testing Market
D-Backs P Brad Ziegler said that players who "remain unemployed well into spring training will have to live with Major League Baseball's qualifying offer system" until the current CBA expires in '16, according to Gabe Lacques of USA TODAY. Ziegler: "The CBA won't be reopened. There's no way it's a big enough deal to do that right now. I haven't heard any rumblings that's even realistic." Lacques noted free agent P Ervin Santana is "one of 13 free agents who received qualifying offers from their teams" in November '13, all of whom rejected the $14.1M tender "to test the free agent market." Save for "the elite of the class," the move has "backfired." Other unsigned free agents include SS Stephen Drew and 1B Kendrys Morales. Ziegler: "Your agent's got to be real with you and tell you, realistically, this is what you can expect. 'Now, this is what we're going to ask for, no problem, but don't be expecting that.' If Ervin Santana's asking for $100 million, that's great. You can ask for whatever you want. But where's his realistic signing number?" (USATODAY.com, 3/8). In Boston, Nick Cafardo wrote, "What needs to change is a player accepting a qualifying offer." Nobody "has accepted one in two years." A Red Sox player said of Drew, "Why not accept a $14.1 million qualifying offer for one year? Is that a bad deal? That’s a lot of money. Stephen would be here playing with us by now if he’d done that" (BOSTON GLOBE, 3/9). ESPN.com's Buster Olney wrote "a lot of factors have contributed" to Santana remaining unsigned, including "draft-pick compensation." Olney: "The essential truth is that his side completely misread the market, setting a price way too high at the outset and then reacting too slowly as available jobs and money evaporated" (ESPN.com, 3/9).