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What do the Yankees qualifying offers mean?

Last night was technically the beginning of the Yankees offseason after they made qualifying contracts to three players: Nick Swisher, Hiroki Kuroda and Rafael Soriano. Some fans were wondering, why didn’t they offer Ichiro Suzuki or Russell Martin a qualifying offer? What is  a qualifying offer? What would mean if either three of them didn’t re-sign with the Yankees?

What is a Qualifying Offer?

A new procedure that was in place for the 2012 offseason. A Qualifying offer is a team offering their free agent a contract of 1 year and $13.3 Million. The player on the team has seven days to either accept or decline the offer. If the player accepts the offer then they would be on the team for the 2013 season. If the player declines the offer, they could still re-sign with the team but they would be placed in the free agent market where the other 29 teams can have a chance to offer them a contract. If the player signs elsewhere than with his original team, the original team would be rewarded a first round draft pick.

Why didn’t Ichiro or Russell Martin get an offer?

Ichiro Suzuki and Russell Martin are both terrific players–but both of them didn’t get a qualifying offer for different reasons. Ichiro hasn’t been on the team for the entire 2012 season, meaning he’s not eligible to receive an offer. Russell Martin is a good player, but the Yankees don’t deem him worthy enough of 1 year and $13,3 Million.

Does that mean the Yankees don’t want Martin?

No. All the qualifying offer is saying is Martin shouldn’t get $13.3 Million. The Yankees still want Martin, but they probably would offer him less than what the qualifying offer is.

What are the chances Swisher and Soriano accept the offer?

The chances that both Swisher and Soriano accept the offer is–zero. Both players are looking for multi-year deals and one year on the Yankees won’t cut it. The Yankees could possibly negotiate a contract with Swisher and Soriano, but chances are they both will head onto different teams, rewarding the Yankees two first round draft picks.

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