Greg Holland has rejected the Rockies’ qualifying offer to stick around in Denver for one year at $17.4 million according to MLB.com. The Rockies now stand to benefit if Holland signs elsewhere. Holland is a free agent with a QO attached. Under the previous Collective Bargaining Agreement, any team to sign a free agent who rejected a QO would forfeit their first round pick if it wasn’t a protected top 10 selection, or their second overall pick if it was. The new system is a shamble of ifs and thens, but it’s relatively simple for the Rockies. How much the Rockies benefit depends entirely on the size of Holland’s new contract. There are now three scenarios in place.
The Rockies re-sign Holland
This is an easy one. If the Rockies re-sign Holland, then the qualifying offer doesn’t matter at all. There will be a lot to say about the length and dollars given, but it would functionally be as if the QO never existed. Holland would not be able to receive another qualifying offer when he’s a free agent again.
Holland’s new contract is under $50 million
If the total guaranteed salary of Holland’s new contract is under $50 million, the Rockies will receive a 2018 draft pick after the Compensation Round B. This takes place after the completion of the second round. In 2017, the first selection after the second compensation round was 76. In 2016, it was 78. It’s possible for other teams to get compensation due to the qualifying offer system, so if Holland signs a contract under $50 million, the Rockies will probably get rewarded a draft pick in the low 70s to early 80s.
Holland’s new contract is at least $50 million
If Holland gets a contract worth at least $50 million in guaranteed money, the Rockies will receive a draft pick after the first round and before the Compensation Round A. In 2017, it would have been pick 31. In 2016, it would have been pick 35. Again, it could get a little crowded because the Rockies won’t be the only team with a compensation pick, but if Holland signs this big contract, the Rockies should expect a pick somewhere in the 30s.
Both of these two scenarios are because the Rockies are one of the 17 clubs to receive revenue sharing. Teams who have exceeded the luxury tax or whose market is considered average or above by Major League Baseball will receive compensation elsewhere. That will thin the crowd a little in the 30s and 70s.
Those are the three possible scenarios. Trying to predict on which side of $50 million Holland will land isn’t easy. MLB Trade Rumors, for example, has him signing for four years and $50 million exactly. It can go either way, and a lot of it will depend on whether or not teams trust Holland enough to ink him to a four-year deal—anything less than that will be sure to fall short of $50 million.
It’s not common to cheer for dollars and cents. But with Holland, it is at least easy. Hope for a contract of $50 million or more and start poring over amateur scouting reports.