Detroit Tigers Should Have Made Qualifying Offer To Jhonny Peralta


Oct 15, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Detroit Tigers shortstop Jhonny Peralta (27) doubles against the Boston Red Sox during the fifth inning in game three of the American League Championship Series baseball game at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

According to Steve Adams of MLB Trade Rumors – who is relaying the contents of a Buster Olney ESPN Insider pieceJhonny Peralta is looking to land a lucritive contract this offseason.

"Olney writes that Peralta is seeking “much” more than three years and $45MM. I predicted a three-year, $36MM pact for Peralta in my recent free agent profile of the former Tiger."

It’s sometimes very hard to know what a player would do with a qualifying offer, but if this source can be believed, it would have been very, very likely that Jhonny Peralta would have rejected the one year, $14.1 million offer from the Tigers. Detroit quite clearly didn’t want to risk Peralta accepting – they don’t realy a spot for him on the field and they probably don’t really want to pay him $14 million anyway – but had they made the offer, they would likely be staring at an extra first round draft pick.

We now have the benefit of hindsight – and I’m not really blaming the Tigers for not making the offer – but general managers have, on the whole, seemingly been far too conservative with the qualifying offer. The system has now been in place for two seasons, and not a single player has accepted a QO. All Nine players rejected the offer a year ago, and all 13 players rejected the offer this season.

It remains to be seen what Peralta will eventually sign for, but $14.1 million apparantely would have been in the neighborhood of what he wants (in an AAV sense) and similar to what he’s worth (according to the MLBTR free agent profile), but without the multi-year commitment. So, if worst came to worst (if he had accepted a qualifying offer), the Tigers probably could have traded him later in the offseason, in spring training, or once the season started (depending on how hard MLB wanted to crack down on “sign and trades”).

Again, I’m not pointing fingers here – this is 100% ex post facto analysis – but the Tigers very well could have earned two draft picks from leaving free agents this offseason (depending on Omar Infante as well).