This is the time period when we hear endless reports of teams being interested in each free agent. But the qualifying offer clubs may tender limits markets. “The value of draft choices is greater than ever,” says one GM. “If a team signs a player who has been made a qualifying offer, the team not only loses the draft pick, but the money for that slot.

“So,” says the GM, “if the Dodgers signed a free agent who’d been, made the qualifying offer, they lose the pick and the $1.2-$1.5M slot off their total draft allotment. That will restrict some free agents.”

Because pitchers like Ricky Nolasco and Matt Garza were traded in mid-season, they are not subject to draft compensation. “So they’re going to do better than an Ervin Santana, if the Royals make the qualifying offer.”