The 2020 MLB offseason is officially underway, and the San Francisco Giants are already getting busy. On Sunday, the team extended the qualifying offer to right-handed starting pitcher Kevin Gausman.
The #SFGiants officially gave Kevin Gausman a qualifying offer and also added Reyes Moronta, Aramis Garcia and Tyler Beede back to the 40-man roster.— Kerry Crowley (@KO_Crowley) November 1, 2020
Joey Rickard, Tyler Heineman and Anthony Banda were outrighted to Triple-A. Banda has signed a minor league deal for 2021.
The qualifying offer for this offseason is $18.9 million, which had led me to claim that the Giants were unlikely to issue it to Gausman or Drew Smyly.
But according to Andrew Baggarly of The Athletic, the Giants and Gausman are already well into discussions for a multi-year deal.
Some news: The Giants will be extending an $18.9 million qualifying offer to Kevin Gausman. They've had talks about a multiyear contract and the QO will give them draft compensation as a contingency in case they can't arrive at an agreement.— Andrew Baggarly (@extrabaggs) November 1, 2020
With the Giants and Gausman seemingly on similar pages regarding a long-term contract, the qualifying offer became a smart move. Now, instead of worrying that Gausman will take the expensive one-year deal, they’ll have draft pick compensation to fall back on if their discussions with Gausman come undone. Furthermore, the presence of the qualifying offer will depress Gausman’s value to the 29 other teams, making it more likely that he and the Giants can settle on a deal.
In other words, all signs point to Gausman returning to the Giants on a two or three-year deal.
Gausman, who had 79 strikeouts to just 16 walks in 59.2 innings in his first year with the Giants, is one of six players to be given the qualifying offer this year. The others are Trevor Bauer (Cincinnati Reds), DJ LeMahieu (New York Yankees), JT Realmuto (Philadelphia Phillies), George Springer (Houston Astros), and Marcus Stroman (New York Mets).
The Giants also announced that Tyler Beede, Aramis Garcia, and Reyes Moronta had been moved back to the 40-man roster, which were necessary moves after they ended the season on the injured list. To make room for them, Anthony Banda, Tyler Heineman, and Joey Rickard were outrighted to AAA.