What’s the deal with these qualifying offers? Will we be able to go after those guys? Do you think there’s any chance that we could sign Beltran and Ellsbury and play them in left and right with Lagares in center?
Joe D. replies…
We posted about the players who received qualifying offers here. But basically it’s 13 players whose teams gave them a one-year, $14.1 million offer which they could either accept or reject. If they reject the offer, they hit the open market and their new signing team will forfeit either their first round pick, or a second round pick if they had one of the ten worst records in 2013. The Mets finished with the 10th worst record so their first round pick is protected.
The 13 players are Jacoby Ellsbury, Mike Napoli, Stephen Drew, Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson, Hiroki Kuroda, Carlos Beltran, Shin-Soo Choo, Nelson Cruz, Ubaldo Jimenez, Brian McCann, Kendrys Morales, and Ervin Santana. They all have until 5 PM on November 11th to make their decision.
As to your main question, there’s little chance (if any) that the Mets could sign either Ellsbury or Beltran – and getting both of them is near impossible.
Ellsbury comes down to money, and the $150 million that Tim Dierkes projects he will get is not even in the same ballpark as where Sandy Alderson’s budget is for individual players. They won’t cross the $100 million threshold for any free agent in my opinion, and I’d say a $50-60 million dollar deal is the maximum for them right now.
As for Beltran, who probably could be had for less than that amount, it’s more a matter of too much bad blood between him and the team. Beltran has said it’s all water under the bridge now, but that’s what I’d expect him to say. No free agent is going to limit their market and in fact their goal is to maximize interest and not diminish it. Beltran’s played his last game as a Met.
Both players you mention would be great additions for the Mets, and I love the thought of an Ellsbury – Lagares – Beltran outfield. But unfortunately, the two of them are not realistic options for the Mets right now, and for two very different reasons.
Thanks for the question…