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What is a qualifying offer? Who are the 14 MLB free agents who have received offers?

With MLB free agency opening up, we take a look at who has received qualifying offers around the league, and exactly what that means

With MLB free agency opening up, we take a look at who has received qualifying offers around the league, and exactly what that means

Many of the biggest names from the 2022 season are either in free agency or expected to enter the fray soon. So far, 14 teams around the league have made qualifying offers from their former players.

What is a qualifying offer?

In short, the qualifying offer system is a way to attempt to balance the draft-picks-for-loss-of-a-free-agent issue. It was implemented in the 2022-26 CBA and was a tit-for-tat element which would have been eliminated had the league adopted an International Draft. Since owners held out on that idea, the Qualifying Offer is what remains.

Under the QO system, a club who wishes to receive compensatory draft picks for the loss of a free agent can make a one-year “qualifying offer” which is the average of the 125 highest-paid players in the MLB. This offer can only be made if the player has never previously received a qualifying offer and if that player has spent the entire season on the team’s roster.

A player can accept or decline the offer. In the event that he declines and moves on to another team, the original team will receive draft pick compensation, the details of where in the draft are based on some complicated formulae centering on the player’s salary and luxury-tax positioning.

The team that picks the player up will also have to surrender a draft pick, with the calculations just as byzantine.

This year’s qualifying offer is $19.65 million for a single-season contract.

Who has received QOs?

  • New York Yankees outfielder Aaron Judge
  • New York Mets right-hander Jacob deGrom
  • Los Angeles Dodgers shortstop Trea Turner
  • Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts
  • Atlanta Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson
  • San Francisco Giants left-hander Carlos Rodón
  • Mets outfielder Brandon Nimmo
  • Mets right-hander Chris Bassitt
  • Chicago Cubs catcher Willson Contreras
  • Yankees first baseman Anthony Rizzo
  • Dodgers left-hander Tyler Anderson
  • Texas Rangers left-hander Martín Perez
  • Giants outfielder Joc Pederson
  • Red Sox right-hander Nathan Eovaldi

Who is likely to accept?

Players have 10 days to decide whether to accept the offer. It is not expected that many of the top players will accept, with their value exceeding that number, often by quite a margin. Anderson, Perez, Pederson and Eovaldi are some players who may consider accepting it, however.

If they don’t accept the QO, there are some interesting moves on the horizon, with the Texas Rangers reportedly close to a deal that would attract deGrom, while there is palpable interest from the Phillies for Trea Turner.

Anthony Rizzo would be heavily courted by the Giants and Carlos Rodón is reportedly another arm in the crosshairs of the Rangers.


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