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Why won't anyone accept the qualifying offer?

Sunday's Say Hey, Baseball includes the dumb qualifying offer politics, an update on Byung-ho Park and Royals players shooting Jimmy Kimmel with paintballs. Subscribe for your daily Say Hey!

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In the last three season, teams have offered 34 players qualifying offers over the course of the three offseason. Nobody has accepted a team on the opportunity. For a lot of players David Price and Zack Greinke come to mind this year — accepting the qualifying offer makes no sense given that multi-year, lucrative contracts are a lock. For others, not accepting the offer has not worked out; Nelson Cruz, Stephen Drew, Kyle Lohse and Kendrys Morale come to mind. The free agent class this year, however, appears to be shaping up for one of the second-tier free agents to take a team up on that one-year, $15.8 million contract offer.

The current free agent pitching class, highlighted by Greinke and Price, presents a lot of options for teams to turn for pitching. Being tied to a first round draft pick in this environment is certainly not ideal. But, as Buster Olney astutely pointed out, there's the politics of the situation: nobody wants to be the first agent/player to accept the qualifying offer. The thing is, however, that there is nothing embarrassing about accepting a contract that pays $15.8 million, even if it's only for a year.

For pitchers such as Jeff Samardzija, who should look to build back his value before trying to accept a more lucrative contract next year. Ditto to Ian Kennedy, who has seemingly forgotten how to put together a season with a positive WAR. There's Ian Desmond, who could put together a bounce-back season to rebuild the value that had the Nationals offer him a $107 million contract. But then again, who would want to be the first to give in and not test free agency?


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