There was no big surprise Monday – Kendrys Morales rejected the Mariners’ $14.1 million qualifying offer.
In fact, all of the 13 players who received the offer from their teams rejected it.
That means Morales – and Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson and Hiroki Kuroda of the Yankees, Jacoby Ellsbury, Mike Napoli and Stephen Drew of the Red Sox, Atlanta’s Brian McCann, Cincinnati’s Shin-Soo Choo, Cleveland’s Ubaldo Jimenez, Kansas City’s Ervin Santana, St. Louis’ Carlos Beltran, and Texas’ Nelson Cruz – are all free agents and can sign with any team, including their former teams.
By making the qualifying bid, the Mariners are assured of receiving a compensatory pick at the end of the first round of next June’s draft should Morales sign with another team.
It’s also important because of this, according to MLB.com reporter Greg Johns:
The Mariners are free to sign any of the other players who rejected qualifying offers without losing their own first-round pick (sixth overall) because teams with a top-10 draft pick are protected. Instead, Seattle would lose its next available pick, which currently is the sixth selection in the second round, but would be higher if they receive a compensatory pick for Morales.
In two years of this system, all 22 players given qualifying offers have said no.