It’s that time of the year again, as the Bull League players notify their teams of their intentions to file for free agency, and pass along their arbitration demands.
This year will be the first season since the league’s GMs and the player’s association agreed to remove A and B type free agency, changing to a draft pick compensation system based on a qualifying offer.
This season, the qualifying offer amount is $13.1 million for one season, meaning eligible players must be offered that must and decline the offer in order for the team to receive a compensation pick in the next first year draft.
Of the players rumored to be under consideration for a QO, Anchorages’ Ricky Jalapeno is said to be near the top of the list. Jalapeno earned just $7.9 million last season, the final year of a 3 year deal. But he spent nearly the entire 2017 season on the disabled list after suffering from post-concussion syndrome following a spring training collision.
Then, in his first game back, on August 20, he tore his calf muscle doubling off California’s Salvatore Resendiz, and had been off the roster again ever since.
Bull Cup champions, Calgary Inferno, may be issuing a QO to catcher Dao-zi Ling, who went .311/.363/.597 this season, with 28 HR. The 34-year-old is likely to give it serious consideration, but some pundits say he could easily attract a bigger contract on the open market.
Seattle’s Jesse Nelson is another player likely to get a QO. Even though the 2B-man will turn 40 this off-season, Nelson has shown little sign of decline in his twilight ball playing years. This season he hit .322/.445/.614 through 49 games, churning out 30 runs and 37 RBIs, and striking out just 28 times in 209 plate appearances. Though he earned $26.4 million in 2017, he knows players of his age do not often land contracts above $10 million a year, and the QO amount could be enough to entice him to play another season for the Salts.
In addition to the qualifying free agents, many teams face squads of players up for arbitration, having failed to sign extensions during the season.
The Anchorage Aces boast 13 arbitration eligible players, the Denver Danger and Montreal Metros have ten, and the Jacksonville Ravens must take 12 to the hearings, which will occur later this month. The New York Dragons have 11 eligible players, but are expected to non-tender five of them, making them free agents.
Hearings wrap up October 23, and players may file for free agency on the 25th.