In order for a team to receive draft pick compensation for losing a free agent the players team must first extend the player a qualifying offer that is worth the annual average salary of the top 125 free agents from the previous winter. Once the qualifying offer is made the player has 1-week to accept or decline the offer.
Last year the qualifying offer was $13.3M and this season it increased to $14.1M.
The following 13 players were extended a qualifying offer:
Carlos Beltran – St. Louis Cardinals
Shin-Soo Choo – Cincinnati Reds
Brian McCann – Atlanta Braves
Robinson Cano – New York Yankees
Hiroki Kuroda – New York Yankees
Curtis Granderson – New York Yankees
Stephen Drew – Boston Red Sox
Mike Napoli – Boston Red Sox
Jacoby Ellsbury – Boston Red Sox
Ubaldo Jimenez – Cleveland Indians
Kendrys Morales – Seattle Mariners
Nelson Cruz – Texas Rangers
If any of these players decline the qualifying offer and sign with another team the signing team loses their first round draft pick unless if it falls within the top 10 worst teams (protected pick) in which case the team loses their next highest draft pick.
Last winter nine players received a qualifying offer but none accepted it.
a team that wishes to receive compensation must submit a “qualifying offer” to the outgoing free agent. A qualifying offer constitutes a one-year proposal worth at least the annual average salary of the top 125 free agents from the previous winter. For this offseason, that comes to a one-year offer of $13.3 million.
If a team makes such a qualifying offer to an outgoing free agent and the free agent signs elsewhere, then his former team will receive a sandwich draft pick between the first and second rounds. The signing team, meanwhile, will forfeit its first-round choice — unless it’s a top-10 pick, in which case the team would give up a second-round pick. The lost picks don’t go to any other team; rather, the teams behind the vanished pick all slide up a slot.