Yankees make qualifying offers to Swisher, Kuroda, Soriano


As expected, the Yankees have made qualifying offers to Nick Swisher, Hiroki Kuroda, and Rafael Soriano, the team announced. The offers are worth $13.3M this offseason and the players have until next Friday to accept or reject. Making the offer allows the Yankees to receive a supplemental first round draft pick if the player signs elsewhere.

Mariano Rivera and Andy Pettitte did not receive qualifying offers since it’s basically Yankees or retirement for them. Russell Martin was always a long shot for the offer and it’s not surprising the Yankees passed.

Categories : Asides, Transactions


  1. Yankee Doodle says:

    How about B.J. Upton in CF and move Granderson to RF (Gardner/Upton/Granderson)

    • Winter says:

      I’d rather Granderson in left and figure out CF/RF with Gardner and Upton, but I don’t see the Yankees winding up with either Upton, TBH. However the outfield ends up working out, I’m worried about Granderson’s arm out in of right.

    • Ted Nelson says:

      I don’t have any interest in BJ Upton, personally. For a team with no CF, he might be a good option. In a corner his bat is well below average, though.

      • Eddard/Syrio Forel/Occasional Troll says:

        107 wRC+ is well below average for a corner OF? news to me…

      • Tcmiller30 says:

        Me neither. He’s a right handed granderson with a little less pop and a little better D. Tons of K’s not many walks good on the bases.

        If he can hit in the post season like he did that year in TB though I’d probably change my mind. He was unreal that year.

        • Preston says:

          Plus, D can start to decline early, so he might not be better defensively for long. Half way through his contract he might be best in a corner OF role.

          • Gonzo says:

            How is D declining early not a concern for Gardner then? He’s older than BJ Upton.

            • Ted Nelson says:

              How is Gardner relevant here?

              Besides from age, his range is going to be less important if he’s in YS3 RF for half his games.

            • Preston says:

              It’s not that it isn’t, Gardner is under contract, plus he’s a better defender. I would definitely be nervous about re-signing Gardner when he hits FA because so much of his value comes from his speed in the field and on the bases. But I have no worries about paying Gardner his arbitration pay raises which are minimal. Upton posted his first negative UZR numbers in CF this year, which of course could just be noise, one season of UZR data isn’t sufficient, but it could also be the start of him being below average in CF, with him needing to move to a corner soon after.

              • Gonzo says:

                Yeah, he had a generally bad year. Perhaps both the bat and the glove were down this year because of an underlying issue/injury. I’m not sure, but I wouldn’t bet against a player going into his age 28 season.

                Also, if you added up all of Gardner’s CF innings, it wouldn’t equal any one of BJ’s seasons since 2007. Not saying Gardner isn’t better, or wouldn’t be better in CF, but his replacement level at LF is extremely low.

                • Preston says:

                  I understand Gardner is not going to be worth plus 30 runs in CF, my judgement of him being a better CF is mostly just the eye test, because obviously Gardner’s sample in CF is low. I think Upton could be a huge pick-up for somebody, because he’s a former number one pick with huge raw tools, who’s shown flashes of being able to use all of them, and is just entering his offensive prime. I could also see him being a total bust though. I guess it depends on cost 4 years for 50 million and I’m in, if it’s 6 years for 90 million I’m out. I’m always surprised by who gets what in the off-season so I have no idea what he’ll get.

                  • Gonzo says:

                    I absolutely agree on the fact it matters on the price tag. I’m all for a 4 year deal that’s reasonable.

                    With Gardner you are also giving up some durability. I just realized that Swisher had a very disappointing age 27 season. That worked out for the Yankees. I’ll pull for them to get him on a good deal, but I just think someone will pay more.

        • Mister D says:

          BJ Upton is not “a little better” on defense than Granderson.

          • Preston says:

            It depends on how much you read into one season of defense. If Granderson is truly a -17 run player than he is way worse than Upton, but you not supposed to use a single season of UZR to judge defensive skill for a reason. Although it was pretty obvious this season that his ability to track balls was seriously impaired this season. That with the spike in K rate makes me believe that there really is something wrong with his eye-sight. Hopefully it can be corrected.

  2. Steve D Fl says:

    i have read that Granderson does not have the arm for right field.( i think i did)

  3. Mike Myers says:

    I love the idea of Upton is NY. Do you think he is gonna get a huge contract though? We would have to jump on a 4/50 deal no? If hamilton isnt getting 100Mil I dont see anyone coming close.

    • Winter says:

      Meh. Upton can’t hit for average any more, and his OPS+ last year was 109. Sure he hit 28 HRs, but he slugged .454. For comparison, Nick Swisher slugged .473 in 2012 and had an OPS that was a good 80 points higher than Upton’s (.837 vs .752).

      • Preston says:

        Swisher is the better player for us, especially seeing as Brett Gardner should be playing CF, so Upton’s bat doesn’t play as well in a corner. But the age difference is significant and Swisher will probably get a bigger contract.

      • Mister D says:

        Quoting Upton’s SLG relative to Swisher’s is just reiterating Upton’s poor AVG. BJ had a higher isoP in a far less favorable home park.

    • Gonzo says:

      I might be in the minority with you, but I would totally do 4/50 for BJ Upton. That would be his age 28/29/30/31 season. I’d do it, but I acknowledge that it’s a risk considering his sub .300 OBP season last year.

      That said, I think he might be able to do a little better.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        Upton didn’t have a particularly bad season. He’s just not a very good hitter. His last three seasons his wOBA has been .328, .333, .323… It was only a bit of a down year.

        • Gonzo says:

          I don’t know. His OPS+ for the past three seasons have been 106+, 114+, 109+. And his wRC+ for the last three seasons are 107+, 113+, 107+. That doesn’t seem like a guy is poor offensive player. Combine that with the fact that he plays CF, and that’s not too shabby. By definition isn’t that above average hitter and not poor hitter.

          Maybe I’m off here. Just my two cents.

    • Steve (different one) says:

      Love that people want BJ Upton and want Granderson gone.

      Upton is Granderson, except RHed and not as good (on offense)….

  4. Eddard says:

    Hiroki will accept, the other two will reject. And that’s just fine. Martin should get about half of the qualifying offer. Ichiro, Raul, Mo and Andy should all be re-signed.

  5. Ted Nelson says:

    I can see why they didn’t offer Martin, but I thought they would.

    • Winter says:

      I feel like it’s better to pay Martin in dollars than in years. That’s why I’m slightly surprised that they didn’t make the offer so that they could overpay him for one year rather than be locked in with him (or someone else) for three.

      • Preston says:

        It depends on how many dollars we’re talking about. Martin is probably the best full time catcher available this off-season, so he might get paid a lot, in which case I’d rather over pay him for one year than sign him long term for real money. But if we could get him for an affordable amount, say 6 or 7 per season than I don’t mind signing him to 3-4 years, even if one of the young guys come through and earn the starting spot you always need a backup C, and C’s are prone to injury, he wouldn’t be a waste of space.

        • I am not the droids you're looking for...(I believe that children are our future) says:

          It absolutely depends on the money which is why I’ve been saying all along including in the mail thread yesterday that Martin wouldn’t/shouldn’t be extended a QO.

          I think Mike and others here have vastly over estimated the market for him. Mike tossed out 3/27 at one point which I called out as absolutely batshit insane (I said I’d lick my own balls if anyone gave him that). He then lowered it to 3/20 which I think is an overpay but not by too much.

          I think he’s truly worth only something like 2/10, and will likely get something in the nabe of 2/15, which is why I thought a QA at 13.3 for one year was a horrible idea and an offer he’d likely accept. And which if course would have been a gross overpay.

          I get the “it only takes one team” angle, and that the C market is skinny skinny thin, but I’m not so high on his D, his power is ‘nice’ but not overwhelming, and I still think the injury thing has to be at least somewhat of a concern. So sure 3/20 is possible but ick no thank you.

          I’m very interested to see how Martin plays out.

  6. Gonzo says:

    Do the Yankees up the offer for Kuroda to something like $14/15mm or is this a take it or leave it deal? Whaddya guys think?

  7. Bartolo Colon says:

    I’m sad I didn’t receive a qualifying offer from Burger King or my favorite Dominican food place. #crying

  8. are all qualifying offers are around that $13M range? If so, I understand why Martin didn’t get one.

    Hope the Hirok takes it.

    • Steve (different one) says:

      $13.3M is the number for all qualifying offers.

    • I am not the droids you're looking for...(I believe that children are our future) says:

      He didn’t get one because it would’ve been a gross overpayment and an offer he would likely have taken. He’s probably looking at 2/15 or maybe 3/20, in which case 1/13.3 looks appealing.

      All IMO obviously.

  9. Joe says:

    2 extra draft picks at least. 3 top 50 picks and of course this is a weak draft.

    • Preston says:

      We might sign all three and have no extra draft picks. I wouldn’t worry about it being a weak draft. When people say things like that they are really just comparing the top tier talent of this year to other years. We won’t have an opportunity to draft the top tier guys anyways. Usually when a draft lacks clear cut top talent it means that there might be more depth, and the best guys might slip through. At least that’s the way I’m going to choose to think about it.

  10. thenamestsam says:

    Very surprised they didn’t give Martin an offer.

    The downside of him accepting is that you have him on a 1 year 13.5 million contract. Which is to say you overpay him by a few million for the benefit of having the contract be one year. If FA salaries inflate even a little bit and you like Martin’s defense that might even be a fair contract. A 1-year 13.5M contract for a starting player seems like decent value to me.

    Upside you snag an extra pick if he decides to leave.

    • Preston says:

      I was all for making the offer, but we have no idea what negotiations have been going on. Maybe they have been talking and his agent hasn’t been unreceptive to a 2 for 12 offer or 3 for 15, in that case a qualifying offer would be a huge overpay, just spitballing, I obviously don’t know what their reasoning was.

      • thenamestsam says:

        Very true. It’s possible that I’m way off about Martin’s market value, and Cashman is just way smarter than me. Which wouldn’t be surprising. I expect him to get multi-year offers with the annual salaries in the 8-10 range. So 13 for one year would be an overpay, but a relatively minor one.

      • I am not the droids you're looking for...(I believe that children are our future) says:

        As I’ve posted elsewhere I think he is looking 2/15 or 3/20 so I think he would’ve absolutely taken 1/13.3 which would have been more than a modest overpayment. I am glad we didn’t do this.

    • G says:

      But there’s also the chance that he has a great year next year, and suddenly $13.3M+ AAV is reasonable for a long term contract. Suddenly that’s what we have to pay him if we want to keep him longer. That, or find another catcher, which is even harder really. I’d rather have Russell, an above average catcher, at a low price through the 2014 plan, than risk overpaying him or having to find a new catcher.

      • Ted Nelson says:

        I don’t think there’s any risk of having to pay him $13 mill per on a long-term deal. On another QO, maybe.

        $13.3 million would put him just under Yadier Molina and just above Miguel Montero. Even if he has a career year, I’m not sure he can convince a team he’s worth that long-term.

  11. nsalem says:

    I’d rather sign Ichiro for a year or even try to work something out with Swisher than give Upton a long term contract. He strikes out way too much and had a .296 OPB in a contract year. I don’t think he will get any better with guaranteed money. We don’t need anymore K-centrics in our line-up. Signing this guy for 5 years plus is an accident waiting to happen that I think we will one day regret.

  12. Steve (different one) says:

    One thing no one has mentioned: doesn’t this mean they expect Mo to take a paycut?

    • whozat says:

      I think no one’s mentioned it, because the answer is “probably not”. They might expect him to take a 1 year deal, but I doubt money is going to be the impediment there.

    • Preston says:

      I think it means that Mo (and Andy) has told them he’ll be a Yankee or retire and that they are taking him at his word. No reason to extend the QO to a guy who isn’t going to negotiate with anyone else.

  13. matt montero says:

    Would it be that unlikely for Swisher to accept the qualifying offer? Also, I was reading the fangraphs article about the best FA values and it said Swisher may have to settle for 4yr/56mil. The Yankees would have to think about signing him for that if he would take it, no?

    • Ted Nelson says:

      I think he’s pretty unlikely to accept. Besides getting long-term security with a multi-year deal, he should be able to get more than that on a one-year pact in what should be a prime season.

      I think 4/56 would be a bargain for Swisher, so yeah I think they’d take that. You don’t see too many free agents getting bargain deals, though.

  14. DZ says:

    All the right moves and non-moves so far in the (early) offseason

  15. Wayne says:

    It’s not necessarily a week draft if we keep our 1st round pick. But we will probably lose it. I bet you all of the guys we made qualifying offers to will not sign elsewhere!

  16. Pisano says:

    Why would you want a .240 hitter that strikes out too much? this guys been overrated for the last four years.

  17. tommy cassella says:

    sign pettite,ichero,kuroda and ibanez. let the other free agents walk.

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