Over the next few months, the Cleveland Indians Examiner will take a look at the off-season decisions for the Indians as they head into 2014. The first installment here takes a look at the free agents:
By next Monday, the fifth day after the World Series completed, the Cleveland Indians will have decided whether to give qualifying offers to the five free agents of the club.
A qualifying offer is a one year deal to free agents set at $14.1 million in 2014. A team offers its free agent players this qualifying offer immediately after the season.
By not making this offer, a team risks losing the player to another team who wishes to sign them. If a player is offered this $14.1 million, one-year deal and rejects it to pursue other teams and lengthier or higher-priced deals, the original team is offered a draft pick between the first and second round as compensation for losing that player.
To boil it down, the question becomes two-fold: does a team offer a player the $14.1 million qualifying offer? And if so, does the player take that offer?
Let's look at each case individually.
Note: this article was published before Jason Giambi signed a minor league contract Thursday evening with the Indians. An article detailing that contract is forthcoming.