Explaining MLB's 'qualifying offer'

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Explaining MLB's 'qualifying offer'

The Red Sox have seven free agents from their 2012 roster Aaron Cook, James Loney, Daisuke Matsuzaka, Vicente Padilla, Scott Podsednik, David Ortiz, and Cody Ross. The team must decide by 5 p.m. today whether to make a qualifying offer to these players.

As part of the current collective bargaining agreement, in effect for 2012-2016, the concept of qualifying offers is in play for the first time. Which brings up several questions, including: What is a qualifying offer? How is it determined? What does it mean for the player and the team?

Players no longer have to declare free agency, as they have in the past. Now, players automatically became free agents at 9 a.m. the day after the World Series ended in this case, Monday. Teams have a five-day window of exclusivity, known as the quiet period, which began Monday and expires at 11:59 ET tonight, in which they alone can talk with their players who are free agents. When that expires players may talk to any team.

The amount of the qualifying offer for this year is determined by averaging the top 125 salaries of 2012. That amount is likely to change each year. The qualifying offer for this year is 13.3 million. If the player accepts the qualifying offer from the Sox, he will stay with the team for 2013 at a salary of 13.3 million. If he declines, he is free to negotiate with other teams. A player has until 5 p.m. seven days after the qualifying offer deadline, in this case Nov. 9, to decide whether to accept or decline the qualifying offer.

The Sox must make a qualifying offer to a player if they want to receive a compensation pick in the 2013 draft in the event the player signs with another team. If they do not extend a qualifying offer to a player and the player signs with another team, they will not receive a compensation pick in next years draft. Compensation picks will be made in the 2013 draft after the first round. (The team that signs such a player would have to forfeit a first-round pick except for the top 10 picks. That forfeited pick would not go directly to the team which the player left. But, thats a primer for another day.) There are no more Type A and Type B classifications of free agents.

Of the Red Sox group of free agents, Ortiz is the only player to whom they would consider making a qualifying offer. Ortiz, however, made 14.75 million in 2012 and would likely reject a qualifying offer. The designated hitter, who turns 37 on Nov. 18 and who just completed his 10th season in Boston, would prefer a two-year deal. If he rejects the qualifying offer, the Sox can continue to negotiate with him until he agrees to a contract with the Sox or another team. The Rangers are also reportedly interested in him.

Stevens on Thomas' groin injury: 'It’s important that he’s 100 percent'

Stevens on Thomas' groin injury: 'It’s important that he’s 100 percent'

There’s no such thing as a good time to have an injury. 

But in terms of Isaiah Thomas being sidelined with a right groin injury and the schedule awaiting the Boston Celtics … this is about as bad a time as you can imagine to be without their scoring leader.

Thomas returned to Boston ahead of tonight’s game at Orlando, marking his first game missed since the 2014-2015 season. 

He suffered a right groin injury in the second quarter of Boston’s 107-106 loss at Houston on Monday. 

At the time, Thomas was optimistic that he would be able to play tonight. But with a day off from practice, the soreness proved to be too much for Thomas to suit up and play tonight. 

While it’s unclear just how severe his groin injury is, the Celtics are likely to be overly cautious (like they are with most injuries) about his return which may result in him missing more games than Wednesday night’s matchup against Orlando. 

“Those things (groin injuries) are a little unpredictable,” Celtics head coach Brad Stevens told reporters earlier today. “Especially in this sport, you have to be able to stop and change direction on a dime, especially him. It’s important that he’s 100 percent.”

Stevens is spot-on when he talks about how uncertain a return for Thomas is currently. 

New York’s Kristaps Porzingis suffered a groin injury against the Celtics in a preseason game back in October that didn’t result in anything more than him missing a day of practice. 

It was a different story when Orlando’s Nikola Vucevic suffered a right groin injury last spring (March 7-29) that sidelined him for 13 games. 

The timetable for Thomas’ return to the floor is likely to fall somewhere within those two timetables which would make an already daunting stretch of games even more difficult. 

Following tonight’s game, Boston has 12 games remaining in the month of December with nine being against teams with a winning record. And of the three games against teams below-.500 (Miami twice, Indiana), two of them are on the road. 

Marcus Smart will get start for Celtics for injured Isaiah Thomas

Marcus Smart will get start for Celtics for injured Isaiah Thomas

As expected, Marcus Smart will get the start for the Boston Celtics tonight against the Orlando Magic in place of the injured Isaiah Thomas. 

Thomas, who leads the Celtics (12-9) in scoring (26.0) and assists (6.2) this season, suffered a right groin injury in Boston’s 107-106 loss at Houston on Monday.

Head coach Brad Stevens explained his decision a few minutes ago.

“He’s started a lot of games here in the past as a point guard,” Stevens told reporters. “He’s basically our sixth starter. It wasn’t one that I had to think a ton about.”

Starting Smart also allows second-year guard Terry Rozier to continue in his role coming off the bench. 

Whether he’s starting or coming off the bench, Smart’s production has been consistent. 

In the five games he has started this season, he has averaged 10.0 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. 

His numbers off the bench are almost identical with Smart averaging 9.6 points, 4.0 rebounds and 3.9 assists as a reserve. 

Stevens also mentioned that Amir Johnson would be back in the starting lineup in place of Jonas Jerebko. Earlier in the day, Stevens told reporters the decision to start Jerebko on Monday was strictly because of the matchup with Houston. 

“We have to be able to be flexible in doing that,” Stevens said. “Houston plays four guards. We didn’t feel like we could defend them unless we switch one through four. I thought he (Jerebko) did a pretty good job. This (Orlando) team is different than Houston other than both are super-hot.”

Orlando (10-12) has won four of its last five games in part because of its size, strength and versatility along the frontline which includes Serge Ibaka, Bismack Biyombo and Nikola Vucevic who now comes off the bench. 

And while the Celtics have benefited heavily from the play of their guards, obviously that plan will be amended tonight with Thomas out. 

“He (Thomas) generates a lot in the open offense what we call flow, spread offense,” Stevens said. “So some of those type of things you may not generate at the same rate. But certainly there are other ways that we’ll look to play when he’s not in the game normally, or when we’re trying to play through bigs in the post. You have different ways to play within all your schemes. Hopefully we can play to each other’s strengths and go from there.”