With new signings joining the team in the near future and the season winding down, another crucial offseason awaits the Quakes’ front office. During this offseason, the team will have to undertake yet another project to help Luchi build a successful team in the Bay. A lot of the decisions made during this period will have to deal with which players will stay in San Jose.
As another season winds down, and the Quakes yet again out of the playoff race, it’s a certainty that those in the front office have turned their eyes towards the offseason and some decisions to be made. Multiple players have contracts that are expiring in the offseason with some having options to extend their contracts.
For every player whose future seems pretty certain to be in San Jose, there are those whose future tenure with the Quakes is murky at best. With both Judson and Remedi entering the offseason in the final year of their contract, the front office will have to decide which, if either, they will bring back. There’s also the case of younger players who have contracts that will expire despite featuring very little this season.
On the flip side, there are certain players whose futures seem to be set in stone in San Jose. Last offseason’s acquisitions, Greguš and Monteiro, deserve to have their option exercised by the club. Other players like Ågren and Benji should also get extensions, due to their potential of contributing next season.
It’s a normal part of the offseason to deal with player’s contracts, as it’s necessary to either extend players that are necessary to future success and release others. With the Quakes being the Quakes, even a process like this becomes interesting given the launch of yet another project.
From a club legend to a top draft pick who has barely played, those on expiring contracts whose futures are in the air are an interesting blend. These players represent decisions that the club will have to make as they enter yet another rebuild.
Starting with arguably the most interesting of these situations, both Judson and Remedi will be out of contract following the end of this season. Both players are experienced MLS players who could contribute to a winning team, but they play the same position. Knowing how Quakes’ ownership operates, it’s difficult to envision both being extended, unless the price is right.
There is a case to be made for both players to stay, but unless one of them is a consistent starter, it’s a bit redundant to have two defensive midfielders on the bench. At the same time, neither player has abilities that differ from one another, making one more important than the other. It may just come down to whichever one of the two is willing to take a smaller contract.
Shea Salinas’ situation is a little more unfortunate, as the Quakes’ icon has seen this season wasted due to injury. The Quakes’ assists recorder holder has been a mainstay with the club, seeing the team reach unbelievable high and crushing lows. There are likely two options for Salinas, extend his contract for a final season or, sadly, retire.
In addition to these MLS veterans, there are a good amount of younger players whose time with the Quakes may be coming to an end. It’s unfortunate for some of these players, but it seems like the youth revolution happening at the club won’t include them.
Siad Haji was the Quakes’ second overall draft pick in 2019, but he has never been able to keep a place in the first team, dealing with injury and poor play with his team in San Jose all but over. Gilbert Fuentes, an academy graduate, had high hopes when he joined the first team, but he never developed and made less than five appearances with the team. There’s also other youngsters like Casey Walls and George Asomani who have barely even touched MLS play and likely won’t get an offer from the team.
Letting players go is a difficult process where some players have to be sacrificed for the hope that the next project will be the one that pushes the team back to the playoffs. For the Quakes, this means dealing with some difficult choices at all levels.
While some players will have to let go, there are others who are too important to the team to be let go of. These players range from some new key contributors to younger players who could help in Luchi’s goal of revitalizing the Quakes.
Both of the Quakes’ winter window acquisitions, Greguš and Monteiro, have options to extend their contracts for another season and those options should be extended. These two have been among the team’s best performing players and could play important roles under Luchi.
Gerguš has had an interesting season where he has been in and out of the squad for periods of time, but has played in some of the team’s best games. At one point, he was a DP contract worthy player, but at this point, he is a great veteran player to have in the squad. While he may not be an out and out starter, Greguš could be an important rotation piece who can help youngsters grow.
Monteiro has been the Quakes’ best creator and his transfer seems like a bargain more and more with each passing matchday. While he may not be a DP contract worth player, Monteiro will be the perfect MLS creative force for Luchi to use and, in a better squad, could serve up assists for Ebobisse. To put it simply, Monteiro is a talented player who is too good to let go.
Benji is another player who has a club option on his contract and it seems like a sure thing that the club will extend him, given how well he has performed since Covelo took over. Marie also has an option on his deal and will also have it extended, given his importance to the side.
There’s only one young player whose contract runs out that will surely be back for the team next season, Oskar Ågren. Given the toll that the front office paid to draft him, it seems unlikely that the club would give up on him this early, no matter the transfers made.
With some players destined to leave, there are others who will play an important role under Luchi, so fans can expect to see them back. These include mainstays like Monteiro to projects like Ågren who will each play their different roles.
As the Quakes enter yet another project, it’s time for the front office to reevaluate the players that they currently have to determine their own plans for the upcoming transfer window. For some this means, goodbye and for others, it means it’s time to prepare for next season. These goodbyes or welcome backs are a necessary aspect of all sports, but it doesn’t mean it’s not interesting.
Featured image: San Jose Earthquakes