This is the time period when we hear endless reports of teams being interested in each free agent. But the qualifying offer clubs may tender limits markets. “The value of draft choices is greater than ever,” says one GM. “If a team signs a player who has been made a qualifying offer, the team not only loses the draft pick, but the money for that slot.
“So,” says the GM, “if the Dodgers signed a free agent who’d been, made the qualifying offer, they lose the pick and the $1.2-$1.5M slot off their total draft allotment. That will restrict some free agents.”
Because pitchers like Ricky Nolasco and Matt Garza were traded in mid-season, they are not subject to draft compensation. “So they’re going to do better than an Ervin Santana, if the Royals make the qualifying offer.”
But, suggests several general managers, the Dodgers can avoid the loss of their number one pick and the slot money if they trade for David Price and get Masahiro Tanaka from Japan. “They have the minor league talent to get Price,” says one GM. “If they would trade Corey Seager and Julio Urias (the 17-year old lefthanded pitcher) and a couple out of Zach Lee, Joc Pederson or Chris Withrow, it would get it done. Then if they post $80M for Tanaka, they could have a rotation with four number ones and a number two with Clayton Kershaw, Zack Greinke, Price, Tanaka and Hyun-Jin Ryu. But if they were to trade for Price, they’d need the draft pick to fill holes in their development system.”