After weeks of speculation, the Oakland A’s have decided not to extend the Qualifying Offer to any of their free agents.
Almost as soon as the Oakland A’s were eliminated, there was a great deal of speculation as to whether or not they would extend the Qualifying Offer to any of their impending free agents. The two most likely candidates, Marcus Semien and Liam Hendriks, were considered key pieces to the team, both on and off the diamond.
Instead, the A’s did not offer any of their ten impending free agents the QO. Only six players received one this year, with Kevin Gausman perhaps the most surprising.
That does not mean that their tenure in Oakland is over. The A’s have been particularly adamant about their desire to bring Semien back to the team. Of course, now that he is a free agent, that may be easier said than done.
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It does, however, make sense that the A’s would not want to run the risk of either player accepting the QO. The tag is worth $18.9 million this offseason, a substantial chunk of what will be a limited budget. That is especially the case with the A’s having ten free agents this offseason, and the continued goal of returning to the postseason.
Hendriks is likely to have an impressive list of potential suitors. He has arguably been the best reliever in baseball over the past two seasons, going from an anonymous middle reliever to a dominant closer. With plenty of teams looking to solidify the ninth inning, Hendriks was going to be priced outside of the A’s budget regardless.
Semien, meanwhile, had always been the most likely player to return to Oakland. Few teams are going to be in the market for a shortstop, and his down 2020 campaign will further hinder his market. While a team may want to gamble that he can return to the form he displayed in 2019, that season appears to be more of an outlier with every passing day.
The Oakland A’s did not make the Qualifying Offer to any of their impending free agents. It is not a surprise that they took such a route.