The Cardinals: Qualifying Offers and The Ever-Changing Draft Order



The changes that Major League Baseball made to the Qualifying Offer System as part of the 2016 Collective Bargaining Agreement are weird. They're Weird and confusing and they certainly don't make it easy on the average fan to follow along.


So here I am, the dumbest of fans, to try to break it down.


The first thing that you need to know is that all of the information about the new system that I am getting is coming from THIS ARTICLE via MLB.com. Second, I am getting the order for the 2018 draft from THIS ARTICLE via MLB.com.


Let's start with the basics. First, let's break the teams and their financials into tiers.


The 16 teams that receive funds from revenue sharing are:

A's, Astros, Braves, Brewers, D-backs, Indians, Mariners, Marlins, Orioles, Padres, Pirates, Rays, Reds, Rockies, Royals and Twins.


The five teams that do not receive money from revenue sharing that DID go over the luxury tax threshold are:

Dodgers, Giants, Nationals, Tigers and Yankees.


The nine teams that do not receive revenue sharing funds and DID NOT go over the luxury tax threshold are:

Angels, Blue Jays, Cardinals, Cubs, Mets, Phillies, Rangers, Red Sox and White Sox.


Now, some general things about how the Cardinals and some of the Free Agents fit into all of this:

  • The Cardinals are not a revenue sharing team.

  • The cardinals did not exceed the luxury tax threshold.

  • By league rules, that means that they would have to forfeit their second highest pick - pick #41 prior to the Padres signing Eric Hosmer, pick #42 after the signing - if they were to sign any of the player with a qualifying offer (QO's from here on) attached to their name.

  • The remaining free agents with QO's are: Jake Arrieta, Alex Cobb, Wade Davis, Greg Holland, Mike Moustakas, and Lance Lynn.

  • All 1st round picks are protected. That means that the Cardinals will absolutely be selecting 19th regardless of where the players that have a qualifying offer attached to their free agency. Unless, of course, they are penalized for something else. Like hacking into another organizations database.


Now, the next part is Lance Lynn. Obviously, if the Cardinals were to resign Lynn that wouldn't change the draft order. However, this is where it gets fun:

  • The Cardinals offered Lance Lynn a qualify offer. That total was $17.4 Million for one year during this free agent period.

  • Lance Lynn rejected that offer. Thus, the Cardinals were entitled to compensation if another team were to sign him.

  • Because the Cardinals do not receive revenue sharing and did not go over the luxury tax threshold they would receive a comp pick after Comp Round-B in the draft.

  • The Comp-B round of the draft comes second round and before the third round of the draft.

  • At the time of publishing, that would be the 77th overall.

  • If one of the other free agents with a qualifying offer were to sign before Lynn then that comp pick would be 78th overall.

  • If two of those free agents were to sign before Lynn then that pick would be 79th overall.

  • Follow that trend for the three other QO free agents.

  • IF they did receive revenue as part of the sharing system, which they don't, from the sharing system it'd be the 35th pick overall AS OF RIGHT NOW.

  • IF they had gone over the luxury tax threshold, which they didn't, they would receive a pick after the fourth round.


Before the Padres signed Eric Hosmer, the Cardinals were selecting 19th, 41st, 59th, and 94th within the top 100 of the draft.


But then the Hosmer signing happened. Here's how everything changed:

  • The Padres forfeit their third highest pick in the draft because they receive funds from the revenue sharing system. The Royals also receive funds from that system, so they get a pick after the first round of the draft and before the beginning of the Comp-A Round.

  • That means that Padres had the 47th overall pick taken away from them.

  • The Royals were awarded the 34th overall pick.

  • That changed where the Cardinals will be selecting. Instead of selecting 41st, they are now selecting 42nd because an additional pick, that 34th pick the Royals were awarded, is ahead of the 41st pick. That pushes the pick back one spot.

  • Picks 59 and 94 are still the same. FOR NOW.


Why "for now"? Because everything is still dependent on where those six remaining free agents with qualifying offers attached to their free agency end up. And this is where it gets dicey, so you might want to turn around now.


Let's focus on Lance Lynn and some scenarios surrounding his potential signing.

If one of the revenue sharing teams were to sign him, let's say the Twins to have a practical example, then:

  • The Cardinals would get a pick after the Comp-B Round. Let's say Lynn's the next one of the QO's off of the board. That means the Cardinals would be awarded pick #77.

  • The Twins would forfeit their third highest pick. That'd be the 75th overall pick.

  • The Cardinals comp pick would then slide up one pick from #77 to #76, as pick #75 has just been eliminated from the board.

  • Nothing would happen change with the Cardinals 59th or 94th picks. They both would have been pushed back one spot with the addition of the 77th pick only to settle back in with the elimination of the 75th pick.

  • That would mean that the Cardinals would select 19th, 42nd, 59th, 76th, and 94th.


Now, let's say that the Indians were to sign Lynn. It get's way more interesting then:

  • The Indians third overall pick is 39th overall. They'd forfeit that pick.

  • The Cardinals would then be awarded the 77th overall pick. That pick would then slide up to 76th because of the elimination of the 39th overall pick from the board.

  • The Cardinals would also benefit from this because all of their top 100 picks except for pick 19 would slide up one pick.


Crazy, right?!?! Were just getting cooking! OK. That pretty well sums up what would happen if a revenue sharing team signs Lynn and how it'd affects the Cardinals draft order.


Now, Let's say one of the five teams that exceeded the luxury tax threshold were to sign Lynn. Let's say that the team is the Giants. This is what would happen:

  • Again, the Cardinals would be awarded the 77th overall selection as compensation.

  • The Giants would forfeit their 2nd and 5th highest selections in the draft. That'd be picks #44 in the top 100 and a pick outside of the top 100.

  • The Giants would also be fined $1 Million in International signing period money.

  • The Cardinals would then slide up one spot to 76th from 77th.

  • Picks 58 and 94th would stay the same because of the addition of the comp pik and the subtraction of the 44th overall pick.

  • The Cardinals selections at 19th and 42nd would also not adjust.


That isn't so complicated. It gets really fun when one of the luxury tax offenders signs multiple free agents with QO's, but I'll save you from that for now.


Now, let's say one of the teams that doesn't fit into either of the categories above signs Lynn. Let's say it's the Texas Rangers:

  • Cards would be awarded comp pick #77.

  • The Rangers first two picks are 15th and 55th. Thus, the Rangers would forfeit pick #55.

  • Cards picks #58 and #77 would both slide up one spot.

  • Pick 94 would stay the same.

  • Picks #19 and #42 would stay the same.


Of course, that all goes down the tank if Baltimore were to sign Lynn:

  • Cards would be awarded pick #77.

  • The Orioles first two picks are 11th and 35th. Thus, the Orioles would forfeit their second pick, pick #35.

  • Most of the Cardinals top 100 picks would slide up one spot to 41st, 57th, and 76th.

  • Selections 19 and 94 would stay the same.


We are starting to get the hang of this!!


Ha! Fooled you!! All of this depends on Lynn being the next QO free agent to sign. If he isn't then the pick-positions will get pushed back. At least, at first. Absolutely nothing, aside from the first round pick, is set in stone.


None of the ordering matters anymore!! In the days prior to the new CBA it did, but because of how and where teams can receive compensation picks, nothing is set in stone until after all of the QO free agents have signed. Until then, all we have is a general idea. That's a shame, too, because the system should be easier for fans to follow.


Sorry for mind f-ing you!!! Thanks For Reading!!!


Kyle Reis