Did the SF Giants miss an opportunity with Anthony DeSclafani?
The right-handed hurler registered a 3.17 ERA, 3.62 FIP, 1.09 WHIP, 8.2 K/9, and a stout 3.62 SO/W ratio in 167.2 innings with the Giants in 2021. Along with Kevin Gausman, he was one of the workhorses in the rotation as he made 31 starts.
Given how he performed in 2021, the 31-year-old was one of the bubble candidates to potentially receive a one-year, $18.4 million qualifying offer. However, the deadline passed without the Giants adding an extra nuance to DeSclafani's foray into free agency.
If the Giants issued DeSclafani a qualifying offer and he accepted, then he would have returned on a one-year, $18.4 million contract. Given that rebuilding the rotation is a priority this offseason, this would not have been a bad outcome at all.
However, if he rejected it and signed elsewhere, then the Giants would have received a compensatory pick in the second round. So, neither outcome would have been unfavorable to the Giants.
Rejecting a qualifying offer might have shrunk DeSclafani's market to an extent because some teams would be unwilling to lose a draft pick by signing him. That said, the veteran hurler is coming off of a career year and would likely offset any future value of a lost draft pick by performing well throughout the life of his next contract.
Interestingly, Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic revealed that the front office did not make a qualifying offer to DeSclafani because they knew he would be looking for a multi-year deal. That is often the case with qualifying offer candidates.
They are typically some of the better players in baseball with a lot of leverage and the hope of scoring a lucrative, multi-year deal in free agency. The reasoning from the front office was a bit odd. Maybe they thought a qualifying offer would disproportionately affect DeSclafani's market, so they did him a favor by bypassing that option.
Nevertheless, the nugget from Baggarly does not provide a ton of context and there is probably more to the story. The front office has earned the benefit of the doubt. That said, the decision to not make a qualifying offer seems puzzling given the information that is currently known.