Ball Star

Qualifying offers set at $14.1 million

Updated: 2013-10-14T22:49:07Z

By PETE GRATHOFF

The Kansas City Star

It’s likely that the Royals will be offering pitcher Ervin Santana a one-year deal worth $14.1 million.

That because Major League Baseball and the players’ association determined Monday that qualifying offers for eligible free agents will be $14.1 million. Last year, it was $13.3 million, so that’s a hefty $800,000 raise.

How’d they come up with that number? Baseball’s labor deal sets the price at the average of the 125 highest contracts by average annual value.

The Royals and every other team have until 4 p.m. on the fifth day following the World Series to make a qualifying offer. That’s expected to happen, because Santana will be one of the better pitchers on the market. Santana, 30, was 9-10 with a 3.24 ERA, his lowest for a season in his nine-year career.

The player has until 4 p.m. on the seventh day after the World Series to accept it. Santana will likely turn down a qualifying offer from the Royals and test the waters.

If Santana or any other player rejects a qualifying offer and signs with another team, his former club would receive a draft pick as compensation at the end of the first round. The club signing that player loses its first-round pick in the following amateur draft, unless that pick is among the top 10, in which case the club signing that player loses its next-highest pick.

According to MLB Trade Rumors, the first 11 picks will be protected instead of the first 10 in next year’s draft, as the Blue Jays will receive the 11th pick as compensation for failure to sign 2013 first-rounder Phil Bickford.

To reach Pete Grathoff, call 816-234-4330 or send email to pgrathoff@kcstar.com. Follow him at twitter.com/pgrathoff

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