SAN FRANCISCO – The Giants do not plan to make a qualifying offer to any of their free agents by the 2 p.m. deadline on Friday, which means they would not receive draft pick compensation in the event Angel Pagan, Marco Scutaro or Jeremy Affeldt signs with another club.
But the Giants remain interested in re-signing all three players.
Only players who receive a qualifying offer – determined by the league and union to be a one-year salary of $13.3 million – and sign elsewhere would garner their former club a compensatory draft pick at the end of the first round.
The system replaces the old and very much flawed “Type A” and “Type B” designation that the league and union had used in the past to determine draft compensation.
Of the Giants’ eight free agents, only Pagan appeared to be a candidate to receive a qualifying offer. Although he might not find a contract with an average annual value of $13.3 million on the open market, he’s expected to draw multiple-year overtures from several teams and would be unlikely to accept a one-year deal.
But Giants vice president Bobby Evans told me that “none of our players fit into that category” to receive a qualifying offer.
The decision does not indicate a lack of interest in re-signing some of their World Series heroes. In particular, the Giants will make it a priority to re-sign Scutaro, their second baseman and NLCS MVP, who is 37 years old and likely won’t break the bank in spite of his fantastic second half. The Giants are keen on trying to re-sign Affeldt, too, although the left-handed reliever's price just went up after the Dodgers inked right-hander Brandon League to a three-year, $21.3 million contract.
GM Brian Sabean has expressed interest in re-signing Pagan as well, although club officials are less confident about their ability to do so. The market is expected to be the most competitive for his services after the center fielder and leadoff man hit .288/.338/.440 with 95 runs, 29 stolen bases and a major league leading 15 triples, which also set a San Francisco-era franchise record.
Teams that sign a free agent who received a qualifying offer must forfeit their first-round pick in the June, 2013 draft, unless they hold a top-10 selection. The forfeited pick simply vanishes; the only compensatory pick awarded to the player's former team is the “sandwich” selection at the end of the first round.
The Giants also have until Friday to pick up Aubrey Huff's $10 million option or choose a $2 million buyout. Huff has not been informed of the club's decision, but all parties are aware that the Giants will choose the buyout. Huff, who turns 36 in December, is expected to retire following a 13-year career in which he hit .278 with 242 home runs and 904 RBIs.