Blue Jays: The impact on signing a free agent attached to a qualifying offer
Last offseason, the Toronto Blue Jays presented a qualifying offer to second baseman Marcus Semien and left-hander Robbie Ray, with both players rejecting the one-year deals and signing elsewhere. Steven Matz also left the Jays and signed with the Cardinals although he was not attached to a QO, so the club wasn't compensated after his departure.
In return, the Jays received the 77th and 78th pick in the 2022 MLB Draft, which they used on INF Tucker Toman and second baseman, Cade Doughty. There was a chance Toman could have been selected in the first round but the Jays were able to bring him on board later in the draft, going $1 million over slot value and now ranking as the club's #4 prospect. He finished the year going 11 for 38 in Florida Complex League with three doubles compared to seven walks and 12 strikeouts.
Doughty ranks at #11 and had a solid showing in A-ball with the Dunedin Blue Jays to finish the year, posting a .865 OPS with six home runs and 24 RBI while splitting time at second base and third base for the Jays.
This winter, Ross Stripling was the prominent name heading to free agency from the Blue Jays squad and the club did not present him with a qualifying offer, meaning the Jays will not receive draft pick compensation should he sign elsewhere. With Stripling potentially out of the rotation and Hyun Jin Ryu still recovering from Tommy John surgery, the Jays have some holes in their rotation and could look to free agency to satisfy the area(s) in need, as the club could also benefit from a left-handed hitting outfielder after the recent Hernández trade.
The impact on the Blue Jays should they sign a free agent like Brandon Nimmo or Chris Bassitt who rejected the qualifying offer from their respective former teams.
Looking at the open market, a few names that are tied to the Blue Jays on the hot stove. LHP Andrew Heaney and RHP Kodai Senga are two names that have been linked to the Jays and did not receive a qualifying offer (Senga is a free agent and not posted through his NPB team), a bonus should the Jays sign either of them or a majority of the free agents on the board.
Should the front office sign any players presented with the QO like LHP Carlos Rodón, OF Brandon Nimmo, or RHP Chris Bassitt (amongst others), there will be some drawbacks.
The Blue Jays penalty associated with signing a player presented with the offer will result in the club losing its second-highest draft pick in the 2023 MLB Draft and $500,000 from their international bonus pool. If the Jays were to sign two players attached to a QO, they will also lose their third-highest pick and an additional $500,000 from their international bonus pool.
So far this offseason, the biggest rumours have the Blue Jays attached to centre fielder Brandon Nimmo, who as I mentioned before is tied to draft pick compensation should he take his talents North of the border. The Jays currently have the 20th pick in the first round of the 2023 MLB Draft and won't fall in the Competitive Balance Round A pick area, meaning they would lose their second-round selection.