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Ervin Santana, Stephen Drew, and Kendrys Morales could all sit out until June

Feb 23, 2014, 7:50 PM EDT

Kendrys Morales AP

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports suggests that free agents Ervin Santana, Stephen Drew, and Kendrys Morales could all sit out until after the draft in June, when draft pick compensation would disappear. We learned yesterday that Santana was considering waiting until June, but it is no surprise that Drew and Morales may join him.

Rosenthal adds that even if the trio doesn’t make it to June, simply sitting out until after Opening Day would have a benefit because it would render their teams unable to make a qualifying offer. Thus, when they become free agents again after the season, there won’t be any draft pick compensation tied to them.

The draft pick compensation system has drawn a lot of criticism recently, including from Drew, but changes are unlikely to be made until after the current collective bargaining agreement expires after the 2016 season.

  1. NatsLady - Feb 23, 2014 at 7:54 PM

    If their (new) team can’t make a them a QO at the end of the season, doesn’t that lower their value to the new team, and hence their potential salary?

    • paperlions - Feb 23, 2014 at 8:17 PM

      The article is entirely correct. Their new teams could use a QO offer on them ONLY if they signed a 1-year deal, as a player has to be on the 40-man all year for a team to extend a QO to them. That aside, it doesn’t necessarily diminish their value on a 1-year deal because the signing team would still have to be willing to pay them $15M (or whatever the QO will be worth next year) on a 1 year deal just to make the offer.

  2. innout10 - Feb 23, 2014 at 7:54 PM

    I don’t think holding out til June would be a good move by any of those guys as far as their effectiveness for the 2nd half of the year

    • bigharold - Feb 23, 2014 at 8:27 PM

      Of course the flip side is by June a team could have a desperate need for their services too, e.g. the Yankees deciding that they need Stephen Drew.

  3. mantastic54 - Feb 23, 2014 at 8:06 PM

    It’s not the draft pick that is keeping Drew from getting signed, it’s the fact that he thinks he should get 14 million per year. The mets would only need to give up a 3rd round pick if he’s signed and they have a need for a ss. The comp pick isn’t the problem

    • jeffbbf - Feb 23, 2014 at 8:17 PM

      I wonder what the excuse will be when, in June, they still can’t get the payday they or their agents thought they should get? Collusion? Conspiracy? Racism? Full moon?

    • tuberippin - Feb 23, 2014 at 10:00 PM

      Stephen Drew is acting like a spoiled child. He just won a World Series title. The World Series-winning team offered him $14,100,000 to play shortstop, likely for less than a full 162 games with Xander Bogaerts ready to go and Middlebrooks working 3B. He turned down that offer, because he believed he wasn’t worth $14,100,000 for one year, but $14,100,000 for four to five years…despite the known fact that fat contracts and the Drew family go together like oil and water.

      He thought that because the Red Sox won the World Series, he’d be able to con a team into paying him $14 million or more annually for up to half a decade, despite the fact that he’s a 30-year-old shortstop with a somewhat lengthy injury history who averages a line that is a smidge below league average (.264/.329/.435, .776 OPS, 98 OPS+) with a K:BB ratio of 2:1, no speed, and adequate defense (not great, not terrible). He also has a very shoddy record of hitting in the postseason (career line of .212/.245/.365 with a .611 OPS and 33:5 K:BB rate in six postseason series). This was on display for all the other ball clubs in the league during this past season’s ALCS, where Drew had 21 PAs and came out of it with a grand total of one single and one walk (.050/.095/.050, .145 OPS).

      He’s Alexei Ramirez with more fanfare, Asdrubal Cabrera with more injuries. And he wants $15mil per over 4-5 when the market has dictated his value as closer to $10mil a year (which would still be a raise from his $9.5mil salary last season). Even teams that are desperate for shortstop help won’t cave to those demands, and as stated by mantastic54, it’s not going to change much once the draft-pick compensation stigma is gone.

      I don’t understand how people can complain about the draft pick compensation system when it only changes the market for players with limited skill-sets, like:

      * Kyle Lohse (throws a lot of slop, has had a couple decent years in his career)
      * Ubaldo Jimenez (two good half-seasons and several bad seasons on his record)
      * Ervin Santana (history of fly-ball issues that would only be exacerbated by the majority of teams with interest in him, including NYY, BAL, TEX)
      * Kendrys Morales (can’t play defense, history of leg problems limit him to DH duties, which in turn limits his market to AL teams in need, is also 30 years old and is a 15-24 HR bat now instead of a 20-35 HR hitter)

      The best players are not being squeezed out or jerked around by the compensation system. All that’s happening is that players with more limited skill sets are being forced to make more rational demands for salary relative to what they can bring to a team.

      • gibbyfan - Feb 24, 2014 at 10:15 AM

        Stephen Drew is acting like a spoiled child………………………I agree Tuber, but he is far from alone. This is what the system has produced. If anyof us were in the same position of having fan adoration and limitless dollars thrown at us just to play a game, I’m sure we too would probably act the same.

  4. mzim2756 - Feb 23, 2014 at 8:27 PM

    Drew could have gotten 14 mil for 1 year with the Red Sox or about 20 mil for 2 years with the Mets and he is blaming the system. He should have his head examined along with Boras since they think he is worth more

  5. tfbuckfutter - Feb 23, 2014 at 8:45 PM

    I think that it’s a smart move to wait until June.

    Because a lot of teams are going to be eager to pay more money for half a seasons work than they were offering for a full season.

    • tuberippin - Feb 23, 2014 at 10:03 PM

      Yet they would still end up losing more money than they would have made by accepting the $14.1mil qualifying offer.

      • karlkolchak - Feb 23, 2014 at 10:13 PM

        Darn it, there you go embellishing your argument with basic math.

      • tfbuckfutter - Feb 23, 2014 at 11:04 PM


        That was my point.

        I just used sarcasm to make it. And you ran right at it.

      • tuberippin - Feb 24, 2014 at 12:20 AM

        Man, you really showed me. *eyeroll*

      • tfbuckfutter - Feb 24, 2014 at 7:36 AM

        That was also my point.

        To trick you.

  6. mzim2756 - Feb 23, 2014 at 9:01 PM

    Waiting until June is also a risk, suppose the teams that have interest today are getting good SS play from a youngster. Then again a team that thinks it is in contention may look at signing one of these guys as an improvement

    • tuberippin - Feb 23, 2014 at 10:14 PM

      We’ve seen this three times now from Stephen Drew.

      Arizona would rather roll with Didi Gregorius and/or Chris Owings.
      Oakland is going to go with Jed Lowrie (and eventually Addison Russell).
      Boston is now going to proceed with Xander Bogaerts.

      If it was one team, I could understand. Two teams, sure. Maybe just bad luck. But three different teams in three straight years would rather go with a less highly-regarded shortstop or a prospect than pay Stephen Drew the amount of money he wants.

  7. spudchukar - Feb 23, 2014 at 9:51 PM

    Just a ploy fellas. Agents playing hardball. Teams colluding thereby holding salaries down, and now agents threatening to remove the management leverage. Pretty transparent actually.

    • tuberippin - Feb 23, 2014 at 10:11 PM

      Funny, I didn’t see any collusion regarding other players with draft-pick compensation attached to them, like Brian McCann, Jacoby Ellsbury, Robinson Cano, or Shin-Soo Choo. All those guys got at least $85,000,000 and were tied to draft-pick compensation.

      Curtis Granderson is 33 and coming off a season marred by a bunch of injuries and still got $15mil a year for 4 years. He had draft-pick compensation attached to him.

      Hell, even the Marlins gave Saltalamacchia $21mil for three years despite draft-pick compensation attached to his signing, and they depend more on their farm system than pretty much any other team in the league.

      So it’s collusion that the other players who received QOs had to settle for less because their skill-sets are less valuable?

      • spudchukar - Feb 23, 2014 at 11:48 PM

        The play isn’t over.

  8. moogro - Feb 23, 2014 at 11:01 PM

    tuberippin owns this thread. +

    • pastabelly - Feb 24, 2014 at 2:53 PM

      I think he underrates Drew’s defense. He is a very strong defender who makes all of the plays and has a strong arm. He was a pretty big part of the Red Sox WS win, just not worth multiple years at $14M.

      • tuberippin - Feb 25, 2014 at 2:22 AM

        I go by a synthesis of the eye test and defensive statistics. It’s imperfect, but the synthesis is all we have to judge the dude’s ability.

        Don’t get me wrong, Drew was fantastic at shortstop last year for Boston. But last season was one of the two best defensive seasons he’s had in his career (the other being his career-best 2010 season where he was worth 4.7 WAR with a 113 OPS+).

        He can certainly glove it. But he’s also not top-tier defensively, his offense has never outperformed his defense, and he’ll be 31 on Opening Day.

        He’d be a great value on a 1 or 2 year deal, maybe a 3-year deal with an opt-out after year two. But three to five years guaranteed for Stephen Drew would be a poor move because the odds of him sticking at shortstop over the life of the deal are low, especially when you factor in his previous leg injuries. Then you have to account for the likelihood that as he ages, his range and consequently his overall defensive ability will diminish. When you add in the draft pick compensation and the price-tag demands on top of all of that, you have a recipe for a free agent left out in the cold. With his defensive prowess, $10-11mil a year should be a fair deal, and maybe even $12mil a year for 1 or 2 years if it’s a bigger-market ballclub with the need for a shortstop.

  9. sportsnut101 - Feb 23, 2014 at 11:49 PM

    Don’t listen to agents. U won a title they offered 14 mil for a yr

    U wanted more meanwhile u just had avg yr

  10. bfunk1978 - Feb 24, 2014 at 11:06 AM

    All it took for Drew to not get a qualifying offer for next year is taking the one he was offered for this year.

    In fact the same is true for Santana and Morales. I’m not sure that any of the 3 really produced at a level that earned that much money, and taking those 1-year deals would grind to a halt the teams that are getting greedy for draft picks.

  11. rdanie29 - Feb 24, 2014 at 12:03 PM

    Hi! I am a middle of the road journeyman who my agent says is better than I really am. I want too much money to play a game. Can I have a job? If I can’t, I will hold my breath until June. That will show you how good I am.

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