Padres News: Qualifying Offers Give Bump for 2016 Padres Draft

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Lost in the commotion of the Craig Kimbrel trade yesterday was the lack of the Padres Justin Upton or Ian Kennedy accepting their qualifying offers. This wasn’t actually much of a surprise, as this year the first 3 players in the 3 year and 54 player history of the qualifying offer process accepted. Now onto what it means, and for a team like the Padres that is trying to restock it’s farm system both for the future and to have pieces to make trades now, the meaning is good news.

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The Padres had been scheduled to have the 8th pick in the 2016 draft. Now as reported by Jonathan Mayo of MLB.com, that is likely to change based on how other teams and players respond to the qualifying offers. The compensation picks given to teams are picks 31-46 given in reverse order of their 2015 winning percentage. So right now the Padres would have two picks with Justin Upton and Ian Kennedy rejecting the qualifying offers and presumably will sign with other teams. Unless of course the Padres sign a player who rejected their QO from another team or do end up re-signing Upton or Kennedy. To make it a little trickier, the Padres are in the top 10 so would not forfeit their first round pick but their second round pick.

This year Colby Rasmus, Matt Wieters, and the Blue Jays Miguel Estrada accepted their qualifying offer of $15.8M which is determined by the average of the top 125 player salaries for 2015.

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Players the Padres could be interested in who also rejected their QO’s include first baseman Chris Davis, Ian Desmond, and some quality starting pitching including Jeff Samardzija and Yovani Gallardo.

By trading Joaquin Benoit and Craig Kimbrel early on, he has freed up about $20M in salary which gives him flexibility to either sign a big name free agent or to make more trades with some payroll flexibility. Knowing that he will have two more first round picks to build up his farm system might lead him to trade right back some of the minor league talent he just acquired.

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