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Brandon Moss , Qualifying Offer? Or, Allowed To Walk Into Free Agency.

I have found two reports, references to Derrick Goold, St. Louis Post Dispatch, concerning St. Louis Cardinals 1B/OF Brandon Moss.  The first from MLB Rumor Central/ESPN.com, where "Goold writes that the Cardinals don't plan to offer Brandon Moss a multiyear deal as a free agent if he elects to reject a one-year qualifying offer [$17.2 MM]."  The other MLB Trade Rumors by Steve Adams. "St. Louis will pursue other options early in the offseason as opposed to exploring a reunion with Brandon Moss, per Goold. If the team is unable to acquire a center field upgrade and Moss lingers on the free-agent market, a fallback would be signing Moss to play left field and keeping Randal Grichuk in center field." 

Brandon Moss, Cardinals 1B/OF, will be a free agent in 2017

The information above, I'm presuming both persons (Whomever penned for ESPN and Steve Adams) were a part of Goold's weekly live chat on STLtoday.com. Because Goold, himself, did not make mention of either situation regarding Moss in his "Quick Hits" write-up. 

Let's review Brandon Moss 2016. 

After a lukewarm one-half season with the Cardinals in 2015, a trade with the Cleveland Indians at the mid-season deadline, he was signed in the 2015 off-season to a 1 Yr/$8.250 MM contract for 2016. He will be a free agent in 2017. 

In 2016, he began the season closing April equal to his closing season .225 BA. May was a struggle, .203; then, Moss begin to find his bat at the plate. He closed June with a .333 BA/.407 OBP/.792 SLG/1.199 OPS slash line. July he was in four games (.256 BA) before sustaining a sprained ankle which placed him on the DL, (July 4 - July 31). In August, playing the full month of 27 games, held within a half-tick of his June average, after being activated from the DL. He closed August, .272/.310/.553/.863, not quite as strong; but, still very much acceptable and a definite threat at the plate. 

Then, the dreaded "Dog Days of Summer" struck Moss in September. His bat went cold with only seven hits in his 83 at-bats, 3 HR/6 RBI, adding 32 strikeouts; and, only drew 8 walks for a .084 BA. But looking at his season on the whole, he pounded out 28 HR, his second season career high to that of 30 HR in 2013 with the Oakland A's, along with 67 RBI.  

In the field, he played first base (64 games/397 innings), right and left field (79 games/507.1 innings) during the season. Along with the Cardinals infielders, he was charged with four errors playing first. He had none in the outfield. 

Cardinals consideration for Moss, at one point, was that both sides were agreeable to contract talks. Moss made no hesitation about his wanting to remain in St. Louis. Now with reports of the Cardinals looking to fill their centerfield through a trade, his future with the Cardinals is not so black and white. A slump is never good to see. For Moss, being the last full month of the season, I'm sure, GM John Mozeliak tapped the brakes a bit. With the bump in the MLB Qualifying Offer from 2016 1 YR/$15.8 MM to the new 1 Yr/$17.2 MM, will Moss take the offer, if such is extended to him by the Cardinals, for one more season? If the Cardinals do extend the offer and Moss refuses, they have the opportunity to pick up a first round pick dependent on which team he may sign with, presuming the QO guidelines remain the same for MLB  in 2017. 

SO, WE WAIT FOR THE FATE OF BRANDON MOSS 

It amazes throughout the season, as long as a player is doing well ~ re-sign him. That same player begins to chill at the plate? "Why is he even in the game?" The nature of baseball fans. Here, nor there. I am still on board to keep Moss on the Cardinals roster. However, since even a two year contract seemingly is out of the question, would a QO bring him back. For players going into free agency, a QO can be offered by the organization five days after the last World Series game. The player then has seven days to accept or deny. Moss turned 33 years old this past September. 

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