Looks like Pirates fans can sleep tight knowing Neal Huntington’s aversion to risk won’t completely screw up a Qualifying Offer for Russell Martin.
Jon Heyman is reporting that the Pirates will indeed make a QO to the team’s second best player.
This is literally the only good move the Pirates could make in this situation. They aren’t signing Martin to a multi-year deal and they likely aren’t in the financial position to do so.
Martin is likely not accepting the offer so the Pirates likely get a first round pick. This is all part of the “waves” of players strategy Huntington has talked about since he got here.
What this isn’t is an attempt to sign Martin. Neal Huntington will use it as such in the media, but that’s not what this is at all. It’s an attempt to get something for a departing free agent. So don’t buy that bullshit line.
Maybe a chance exists that Martin signs the offer? I seriously doubt it but stranger things have happened.
This is perfect for the Pirates though. They get something for nothing, they get some plausible deniability (hey we offered him $15 million!), and they don’t get stuck with what will almost surely be a ridiculous contract that would bury this franchise for a few seasons.