When a free agent receives a qualifying offer, he can either accept it or reject it. If he accepts it, then he receives a one year salary of $19.65 million for 2023. If he rejects it, then he can either re-sign with his team, or sign with another one, that will have to give up a draft pick in the 2023 draft to sign him. Teams prioritize strong farms, so giving up a draft pick isn’t something preferable unless the player is just that good. I’m focusing on hitters here as the Miami Marlins have enough starting pitchers (no relievers are currently on the market with QO’s attached).
Which QO recipients will the Miami Marlins target?
A player that has been linked by some writers to the Miami Marlins is C Willson Conteras. Contreras is a career .243/.349/.466 hitter, who typically hits 20+ home runs. His defense has been in question lately, but he did have a 1.8 dWAR last season. I think that there’s an outside chance that we’ll pursue him, but it’s more likely that we stick what we have as we gave up a lot to get Jacob Stallings and he did produce 3.0 WAR last season.
Joc Pederson strangely received a QO from the San Francisco Giants. The LF is more of a platoon hitter and has a career .237/.335/.470 batting line. I expect him to accept it and return to San Francisco. CF Brandon Nimmo is another QO recipient. Nimmo is the top CF on the free agent market, but his defense is only passable (0.2 dWAR) and due to injuries, this is only his second season in seven, where he played over 100 games (six if we exclude 2020). I don’t see the Miami Marlins going after him for good reason.
SS Dansby Swanson and SS Xander Bogaerts are QO recipient free agents too. I wrote about Swanson and Bogaerts before already. There’s not much to add other than that I hope that the Miami Marlins pursue them, but unfortunately doubt that Bruce Sherman will spend at that level. The same applies for SS Trea Turner, who I covered before as well.
New York Yankees RF Aaron Judge is the top free agent with a QO available, but he would be dangerous to pursue due to his age and extensive injury history. I also have no doubt that Sherman isn’t going to spend at that level.
The last hitter with a QO attached is New York Yankees 1B Anthony Rizzo, but I expect him to just accept it or reject it and then re-sign with the Bronx Bombers. There’s just no way that any team gives up a draft pick for a 33 year old 1B who batted .224/.338/.480 in 2022.
What do you think? Who should the Miami Marlins pursue? Who will they avoid?