Padres News: Qualifying Offers Made to Justin Upton and Ian Kennedy

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In news that is not surprising, the San Diego Padres made qualifying offers to free agents Ian Kennedy and Justin Upton. Jacob Kornhauser has made it quite clear on his opinion on Kennedy and Keegan Tatum would be happy to see Justin Upton to leave as well. A record 20 free agents received qualifying offers this season throughout MLB and almost none are actually expected to take them, drawing questions on if that system even means anything in the first place.

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Essentially, by making the offer, the team is guaranteed to receive a draft pick if they leave. In the previous three seasons, no one out of the 34 qualifying offers given were taken up by the players offered. The biggest question in the cases of Upton and Kennedy is who the Padres might be able to replace them with?

Salary is a big concern already for the Padres, and as Jacob argued if Kennedy takes the offer it puts them in a bit of a bind to pay one pitcher in Kennedy $15.8MM. Tack that one along with contracts to Matt Kemp, James Shields and Craig Kimbrel and the payroll starts getting lopsided with players over 30 pretty quickly in 2016.

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Depending on what you think of Ian Kennedy and which side you are on, the fact that Scott Boras is his agent is a large factor looming as well. He will almost certainly guide Kennedy to reject the one year qualifying offer and hope that his client can get a more lucrative multi-year contract. The Padres already have one 30 year old in Shields committed last term and son will have to shell out long-term contracts for Andrew Cashner and/or Tyson Ross, so I agree that inking Kennedy to more than a two year deal would be a big mistake.

Justin Upton of course put up big numbers but seemed to have a knock for getting those numbers in meaningless situations. While the Padres will miss his power production – they might be able to have more lineup flexibility around Wil Myers trying to keep him in the lineup. It is also hoped that stud prospect Hunter Renfroe might be able to be a productive Padre before the season is up.

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