MLB players receiving qualifying offers for 2015 are now identified, and Hardball Talk has the full list.
The qualifying offer this year is $15.3 million, and the players who get a qualifying offer have five days to decide whether to accept a one year, $15.3 million deal with the offering team, or decline the offer. If they decline the offer, a team signing the player forfeits a draft pick (a first round pick for teams picking 11-20, and a second round pick for teams picking 1-10, with certain caveats), and the team losing the player gets a compensatory pick in the supplemental first round.
The players are as follows:
Outfielder Melky Cabrera of the Toronto Blue Jays
Outfielder Nelson Cruz of the Baltimore Orioles
Outfielder Michael Cuddyer of the Colorado Rockies
Lefthanded pitcher Francisco Liriano and catcher Russell Martin of the Pittsburgh Pirates
DH Victor Martinez and righthanded pitcher Max Scherzer of the Detroit Tigers
Shortstop Hanley Ramirez of the Los Angeles Dodgers
Closer David Robertson of the New York Yankees
Righthanded pitcher Ervin Santana of the Atlanta Braves
Righthanded pitcher James Shields of the Kansas City Royals
Third baseman Pablo Sandoval of the San Francisco Giants
Liriano and Cuddyer getting qualifying offers are probably the most surprising, and I expect both players to accept. They are players I could have seen the Rangers pursuing in the absence of a qualifying offer, and I would be surprised if the Rangers were to forfeit their second round pick to sign either player, unless the market dries up and they sign a very cheap one year deal come February or March.
Martinez is someone who I think the Rangers could pursue, and I don't think the qualifying offer impacts that, though I suspect Martinez will cost more than they are willing to pay.
Texas was mentioned as the team that made the most sense for both Cabrera and Robertson in a SI piece today, and while I could possibly see Cabrera, were there no draft pick compensation attached, I'm at a complete loss as to why any informed observer would think the Rangers would pursue Robertson, who the Yankees have made clear would get a qualifying offer. There's zero reason to believe that the Rangers would forfeit a second round pick for the right to pay Robertson more than the Yankees are willing to pay him. With Cabrera, the QO probably will dampen the Rangers' interest to the point that they pass. Cabrera and Robertson are both players who I could see accepting the QO, as well.
Gerry Fraley has mentioned Russell Martin repeatedly as a possible Rangers free agent target. I thought he'd cost more, and require a longer commitment, than they'd be comfortable paying and making anyway, but the QO would seem to take them out of the mix there, as well.
Realistically, I don't think any of these free agents end up in Texas...the more interesting thing, to me, is seeing how many of them accept the qualifying offer. No player has accepted before, but this year, I'd set the over/under on players accepting at 4.5.