Official Qualifying Offer Decisions: Nobody Wants One Except Brandon Belt

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Official Qualifying Offer Decisions: Nobody Wants One Except Brandon Belt

Chicago Cubs

In the end, and roughly as expected, almost none of the players to whom the one-year, $18.4 million Qualifying Offer was extended had any interest in accepting this offseason. It was a large group of players this year, but only San Fransisco Giants first baseman Brandon Belt decided he was better off accepting than hitting the market tied to draft pick compensation.

ACCEPTED:

Brandon Belt (San Francisco Giants)

DECLINED:

Nick Castellanos (Cincinnati Reds)

Michael Conforto (New York Mets)

Carlos Correa (Houston Astros)

Freddie Freeman (Atlanta Braves)

Raisel Iglesias (Los Angeles Angels)

Robbie Ray (Toronto Blue Jays)

Eduardo Rodríguez (Boston Red Sox) (already signed with Detroit Tigers)

Corey Seager (Los Angeles Dodgers)

Marcus Semien (Toronto Blue Jays)

Trevor Story (Colorado Rockies)

Noah Syndergaard (New York Mets) (already signed with Los Angeles Angels)

Chris Taylor (Los Angeles Dodgers)

Justin Verlander (Houston Astros) (already re-signed)

For those who declined, they now hit the free agent market attached to draft pick compensation. For the Cubs, that means signing such a player would cost them their second rounder in 2022 (7th pick in the round), the bonus pool space associated with the pick, and $500,000 in IFA bonus pool space. I have a very hard time seeing the Cubs signing any of the qualified free agents to short-term deals.

Even the guys who’d be signing for, say, three+ years, it’s harder to see the Cubs going that route than sticking to unqualified free agents. The extra “cost” is spread out over multiple years, so that helps, but that extra “cost” is (1) higher than for many other teams, and (2) best spent when you are in a particularly aggressive period at the big league level (not in a period where you’re trying to stick up on prospects). In other words, as Jed Hoyer said earlier today, the Cubs are a team whose goal it is to make the postseason in 2022. They are not necessarily a team that is balling out to fine-tune a clear World Series roster.

As we’ve discussed, the elite shortstops aren’t entirely off the radar for the Cubs, but I still have a hard time seeing them being a top bidder. That isn’t because of the draft pick compensation side of things, though, so today didn’t change anything. I could put together an argument for Nick Castellanos and Michael Conforto (maybe especially Conforto given the stark need for left-handed power). That might be about it, though, from this group.



Author: Brett Taylor

Brett Taylor is the Editor and Lead Cubs Writer at Bleacher Nation, and you can find him on Twitter at @BleacherNation and @Brett_A_Taylor.