The New York Yankees made certain that they will get at least a little something in return for letting Nick Swisher and Rafael Soriano go to another team this offseason by submitting to them qualifying contract offers Friday, each worth one-year/$13.3 million. They also extended the same offer to Hiroki Kuroda, who the Yankees have a better chance of maintaining for the 2013 roster.
If any of the players decline the offer and sign elsewhere this offseason, the Yankees will gain a compensatory selection in a round between the first and second rounds of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft. The offers to Swisher and Soriano were no-brainers considering both men are seeking multi-year deals that the Yankees most likely will shy away from.
For Kuroda there may have been more deliberation as he has voiced a willingness to sign a one-year deal. But, that doesn’t mean another team won’t offer Kuroda a two-year deal, so the Yankees are making a ‘cover your butt’ move here in case a two-year deal puts a damper in their 2014 payroll plans. Kuroda’s value this past season soared by the $13.3 million mark and a dialed down version of his 2012 season would net good value at the qualifying mark.
If any of the players decline, it does not preclude the Yankees from discussing a deal with the player at a later time. This is important for Swisher and Soriano for there is a chance that offers from different teams may not be as lucrative as they hope. If the Yankees feel the player’s market value has decreased to a price level respective of the player’s anticipated performance, it would not be out of the question for them to jump into talking a different deal. It probably doesn’t happen but is not without possibility.
Where it concerns Kuroda, is if there is a multiyear offer on the table he would obviously consider it because of the increase in guaranteed money associated with such a deal. The Yankees could meet the price or better it if they felt it was not going to impede on their plans for keeping their 2014 payroll total below the $189 million competitive balance tax threshold.
In the end the 2014 payroll goal makes it difficult for the Yankees to keep everyone who has a chance at a lucrative contract, so when that happens a qualifying offer is the way to go.