Real cost of the qualifying offer
Giving up a draft pick is more costly to MLB teams than most people realize
That doesn't go for all major leaguers, however, as a large number of players remain unsigned. The most notable among them are the six players on Keith Law's top-rated free agents list who haven't signed yet, with five of them -- Ubaldo Jimenez, Ervin Santana, Stephen Drew, Nelson Cruz and Kendrys Morales -- finding the markets less receptive to their desired salaries than they had hoped, at least partially due to draft picks they will cost the team that signs them as a result of the qualifying offer they received from their former teams.
The market has been so slow for these players that it's fair to ask if teams are being too protective of their draft picks. But upon further inspection, it appears GMs are acting rationally. Allow me to explain.
To see why Kendrys Morales is worth less than $1 million per season, as well as the real cost of the qualifying offer as it pertains to other unsigned free agents, become an Insider today.
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Jim Bowden lists the primary offseason targets for all 30 teams.