After getting no qualifying offer from the Brewers, Avisaíl García gets a four-year, $53 million deal with the Miami Marlins
As it turned out, the Milwaukee Brewers probably could have made a qualifying offer to free-agent outfielder Avisaíl García and gotten away with it.
With no draft-pick compensation attached to him, García signed a four-year, $53 million deal Sunday with the Miami Marlins as activity increased prior to an expected lockout of players by management by Wednesday that would freeze transactions.
When the 30-year-old rightfielder declined his half of a $12 million mutual option after the season, becoming a free agent, the Brewers had to decide whether to make the $18.4 million qualifying offer. If they did and he feared no suitable offer was coming on the market, García might have accepted, with a salary that would have been tough for Milwaukee to squeeze into its budget.
The Brewers already are committed to guaranteed salaries for 2022 of $26 million to leftfielder Christian Yelich, $18 million to centerfielder Lorenzo Cain and $9.5 million to outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr., who exercised a player option that also guaranteed at least another $8 million in 2023 in a buyout of a $12 million mutual option.
The actual payouts in 2022 to those three outfielders will be less because of deferred money but even so the Brewers would have owed $60 million to four outfielders had they made the qualifying offer and García accepted. So, they chose not to do so, forfeiting draft pick compensation if he signed elsewhere.
The unknown is if the Brewers made the qualifying offer, would the interest of the Marlins and other clubs waned somewhat by not wanting to surrender a high draft pick? Milwaukee is on the hook for a buyout of about $1.5 million of the mutual option on García, who no doubt was attracted to playing in Miami because he lives there.
In any event, García got the multi-year deal he sought after a career year with the Brewers. He led the club with 29 home runs, 86 runs batted in and .820 OPS in 135 games.
Beyond the outfield commitments, the Brewers have 13 players on their 40-man roster eligible for salary arbitration, at a projected overall cost of about $45 million. The deadline for teams to tender contracts to those players for 2022 is 7 p.m. Tuesday.