Explaining MLB's 'qualifying offer'

607420.jpg

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.

Rask: Last season 'something to rebound from' personally

bruins_tuukka_rask_110315.jpg

Rask: Last season 'something to rebound from' personally

BRIGHTON, Mass. – While David Pastrnak, Tuukka Rask and David Backes are back from competing in the World Cup of Hockey in Toronto, that doesn’t mean you’ll see those players on the ice over the next couple of days. Perhaps the trio will practice on Monday in the fourth on-ice session at main training camp, but Bruins GM Don Sweeney confirmed that none of those returning players will suit up against the Columbus Blue Jackets in the B’s preseason debut at TD Garden on Monday night.

“Yeah…absolutely,” said Sweeney when asked if those three players have been ruled out for Monday night. “They’re going to get through the weekend here. Next week, we’ll evaluate [them] when they get on the ice. But, all those guys will not be on the ice until next week.

“It might be case-by-case for each guy. Those guys have been playing for a while at a high level. It’s unique for David Backes coming into the organization, so he’d like to integrate himself. I talked yesterday with all three of them just to get a read of where they’re at. But, sometime first of next week, they’ll be on [the ice].”

Both Pastrnak and Rask have checked in with the Bruins media over the last couple of days after returning from Toronto, and the Bruins goaltender, in particular, has plenty of motivation coming off a down statistical season. The 2.56 goals against average and .915 save percentage were well below his career numbers, and people like B’s President Cam Neely have pointed to Rask as somebody that needs to have a better season for Boston to rebound back into the playoffs this year.

“There were a couple of years where the standards pretty high, so obviously when they go down there’s something to rebound from. You kind of know where you can be. That’s where I try to be every year and I’m working on being there this year, and taking us to the playoffs and moving forward,” said Rask. “But every year is a new year where you’ve got to work hard, and set your goals to be at your best. More often than not you hope [being at your best] is going to happen, and I hope this year is going to be a great year for us.”

Clearly Rask wasn’t alone in his struggles last season behind a mistake-prone defense that allowed plenty of Grade chances, and that could be a repeating phenomenon again this season for the Bruins unless the defense is substantially upgraded along the way.

As far as the other three B’s players still taking part in the World Cup, it could be a while for Patrice and Brad Marchand as Team Canada has advanced to the final best-of-three series that could also feature Zdeno Chara if Team Europe is victorious.