The Colorado Rockies on Monday extended a $15.3 million qualifying offer to free agent outfielder Michael Cuddyer, according to a team announcement.
Cuddyer has until next Monday, Nov. 10, to decide whether he'll accept or decline the offer. The qualifying offer, if declined, comes with a compensation pick if another team decides to sign him. But looking at this purely from the perspective of what Cuddyer might be worth on the open market quickly determines that the 36-year-old veteran would have a hard time getting more than what he'd receive by simply accepting the QO.
There are a lot of things racing through my mind about this, but here are just a few scenarios I could see unfolding.
- The Rockies and Cuddyer worked out an arrangement in which he agreed not to accept the offer. Cuddyer sits out until June, because I don't know why a team would willingly lose a draft pick to sign him.
- Colorado took a significant risk in hopes of netting a draft pick, and Cuddyer realizes that $15.3 million is way more than he'd get elsewhere. He accepts, and the Rockies have more than $60 million tied up in four players.
- Cuddyer accepts and the Rockies trade Carlos Gonzalez and/or Justin Morneau, even though they've significantly affected any leverage they might have had.
- Cuddyer declines and gets a two-year, $30 million contract from the Yankees.
- Cuddyer accepts and still starts in right field everyday and relegates Corey Dickerson to the bench because Dick Monfort is still truly running the team.
You get the point. Regardless of what happens, it was pretty shocking to see the Rockies actually put themselves in this situation. Then again, maybe I shouldn't be shocked; things like loyalty and "leadership" have long been the driving force of this franchise.
We'll have more on this in the coming days.