Then there's Fernandez, who will also be 26. We've already heard the extraordinary level of request the Marlins have made for him in the current trade market, but because he's only made 47 starts in the big leagues, much of the appeal of Fernandez is related to projection at least as much as performance. The next three years are Fernandez's opportunity to establish himself as a reliable workhorse in the wake of Tommy John surgery. Because of his age relative to the Kershaws and Prices of the world, he could be in prime position to capitalize on his prime years.
Any team that signs a player who has rejected a qualifying offer is subject to the loss of one or more Draft picks. While a team's highest first-round pick is exempt from forfeiture, any additional first-round picks as well as Competitive Balance picks are eligible. Under the previous CBA, only the top 10 overall picks were exempt from forfeiture, so this is a big change. Three tiers of Draft-pick forfeiture -- which are based on the financial status of the signing team -- are in place to serve as a penalty for signing a player who rejected a qualifying offer: