On the eve of free agency, the New York Yankees took care of a little bit of housekeeping by making three qualifying offers to some of their own players; second basemen Robinson Cano, starting pitcher Hiroki Kuroda and outfielder Curtis Granderson as Andy McCullough of the Newark-Star Ledger reported on Monday.
With the offer, it is a one-year deal worth $14.1 million dollars; something that started not too long ago in baseball and if any of the players reject the deal and sign elsewhere in free agency, then the Yankees will get a draft pick as compensation for losing such player.
With Cano as the biggest free agent player on the market, there is almost a 100 percent guarantee that the 31-year-old second basemen is never accepting the Yankees one-year offer, who is coming off another fine season where he hit .314 with 27 home runs and 107 RBI while making $15 million in 2013. It's been rumored that the Yankees are willing to offer anywhere between a five-seven year deal worth $25 million per season. The Yankees will have major competition for Cano in free agency from teams like the Washington Nationals or Detroit Tigers, but many people expect Cano back in pinstripes for a very long time and made the offer incase Cano's plans alter and he chooses to go elsewhere.
With Kuroda, it's also unlikely that he will accept the qualifying offer as it would be taking a $1 million pay cut for someone who was a very dependable starter for 80 percent of the season. The 38-year-old Japanese pitcher went 11-13 with a 3.31 ERA in 32 starts and logged 201 innings with 150 strikeouts for the Yankees in 2013. Some people around baseball are 50-50 on the whereabouts on Kuroda for next season, as he could return to the team on a one-year deal, or he could decide to either pitch again for the Los Angeles Dodgers or completely leave American and return home to Japan. If Kuroda were to want to come back to the Yankees again in 2014, it's very likely that the team would re-sign him since he was very dependable for the last two years.
The third and final qualifying offer to Granderson is an interesting one, as he missed 101 games in 2013 with two separate broken hand injuries after being plunked on the hand in March and again in May, which is why he only hit .229 with seven home runs and 15 RBI in his limited time with the team. However, before the two freak injuries, Granderson had back-to-back 40 home run and 100-plus RBI seasons with the Yankees and his first preference is to remain with the team, so there's a slight chance that Granderson could end up accepting the team's offer, which if he were to do, he'd have to do so by November 11.
The only player who did not receive a qualifying offer was Phil Hughes, who had a lousy 2013 season with a 4-14 record, a 5.19 ERA in 29 starts and was at one point, demoted to the bullpen due to his lack of effectiveness.
Last season, the Yankees made qualifying offers to Rafael Soriano and Nick Swisher last winter; both of which were turned down as both players got multi-year deals in free agency; Soriano with the Washington Nationals and Swisher with the Cleveland Indians, which ended up landing the Yankees two additional draft picks in the 2013 NFL Draft.
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