Which Draft Picks Each Team Would Forfeit By Signing A Qualified Free Agent

The collective bargaining agreement expires on December 1st, and it’s unclear whether its rules for draft pick compensation will remain in place for the 2021-22 offseason, whenever teams eventually sign free agents.  It’s at least possible that the current rules will be used once more.  We know that the qualifying offer is set at $18.4MM this winter, and by mid-November we’ll know which players received and turned down a QO.  If those players sign with new teams, here’s a look at the draft picks each signing club would lose – if the old rules are used.

Competitive Balance Tax Payors: Dodgers, Padres

If either of these teams signs a qualified free agent from another team, it must forfeit its second-highest and fifth-highest pick in the 2022 draft. The team will also have its international signing bonus pool reduced by $1MM. Both teams could plausibly sign a qualified free agent, though the Dodgers have significantly more payroll space.

Revenue Sharing Recipients: Brewers, Diamondbacks, Guardians, Marlins, Mariners, Orioles, Pirates, Rays, Reds, Rockies, Royals, Tigers, Twins

These 13 teams received revenue sharing and did not exceed the competitive balance tax. If one of these teams signs a qualified free agent, it forfeits its third-highest pick. These teams face the smallest draft pick penalty.  Of this group, the Mariners and Tigers seem to be the most likely to sign a qualified free agent, but others like the Twins and Marlins are possible.

All Other Teams: Angels, Astros, Athletics, Blue Jays, Braves, Cardinals, Cubs, Giants, Mets, Nationals, Phillies, Rangers, Red Sox, White Sox, Yankees

These 15 remaining teams would forfeit their second-highest pick and and have their international signing bonus pool reduced by $500K. The penalty is something of a middle ground.  The Mets are of particular note: due to their failure to sign Kumar Rocker, they pick at both #11 and #14 in 2022, making that #14 pick subject to forfeiture.

What happens if a team signs two qualified free agents? The CBA calls for forfeiture of the next highest available draft pick. For example, if a team has already lost its second and fifth-highest picks and it signs a second qualified free agent, it would lose its third and sixth-highest picks. So as in the past, if you’ve already signed one qualified free agent, the draft pick cost to sign another is reduced.

Published at Tue, 26 Oct 2021 03:59:57 +0000

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