Baseball’s annual gathering of general managers began Monday when $14.1 million qualifying offers were turned down by all 13 free agents who received them from their former teams, a group that included Seattle’s Kendrys Morales.
Jacoby Ellsbury, Mike Napoli and Stephen Drew of the World Series champion Boston Red Sox rejected offers.
Three Yankees also said no thanks: Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson and Hiroki Kuroda.
The others turning down the offers were Atlanta’s Brian McCann, Cincinnati’s Shin-Soo Choo, Cleveland’s Ubaldo Jimenez, Kansas City’s Ervin Santana, St. Louis’ Carlos Beltran and Texas’ Nelson Cruz.
“That ought to tell you a little bit about their expectations,” Mets general manager Sandy Alderson said, predicting the possibility of a bull market.
If any of these players sign with a new team, his former club would receive an extra amateur draft pick at the end of the first round next June. All 22 players given qualifying offers have said no during two offseasons under the new system.
“When we made the qualifying offers, we did not expect anyone to accept. We would have been happy if any of them did,” Yankees general manager Brian Cashman said.
In addition to early talks with agents and trade feelers, GMs will hold rules discussions, such as whether there should be any limitations on bowling over catchers. Owners then arrive for their fall meeting on Thursday morning, where expanded instant replay is on the agenda.
A baseball official familiar with the deliberations said management probably would approve the additional video review by umpires in phases. The go-ahead to spend the funds probably will occur Thursday. Approval of the rules likely would be put off until the January owners’ meeting.
For expanded replay to start next season, agreements with the World Umpires Association and Major League Baseball Players Association would have to be reached.
“Both parties are working diligently to iron out every possible scenario that could occur with a replay,” WUA President Joe West said.
These meetings usually are the spark for trades and signings later in the offseason. The pace figures to increase during the winter meetings, to be held in nearby Lake Buena Vista from Dec. 9-12.