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MLB qualifying offer: Who will accept, reject the $19.65M deal ahead of Tuesday’s deadline?

MLB qualifying offer: Who will accept, reject the $19.65M deal ahead of Tuesday's deadline?


Thursday at 4 p.m. ET is the deadline for the 14 MLB free agents who received the qualifying offer to accept or reject the one-year, $19.65 million contract. The qualifying offer is a one-year deal set at the average of the top 125 salaries in baseball each offseason, and free agents who reject it are tied to draft-pick compensation.

Free agents who were traded at midseason (like Josh Bell and Andrew Benintendi) are not eligible to receive the qualifying offer, ditto free agents who received the qualifying offer previously (like Carlos Correa and Justin Verlander). If you’re curious why a big name free agent didn’t receive the qualifying offer, he likely falls into one of those two buckets.

Here are the qualifying offer decisions for this year’s 14 free agents.

Accepted qualifying offer

Players who accept the qualifying offer return to their team on that one-year, $19.65 million contract. It should also be noted players who accept the qualifying can not be traded without their consent until next June 15. Teams can’t simply turn around and trade away a player they didn’t anticipate accepting the qualifying offer, at least not without him having a say.

Rejected qualifying offer

The vast majority of free agents who receive the qualifying offer will reject it because they’re looking to secure a larger payday on the open market. And to be clear, players who reject the qualifying offer can still re-sign with their former team. This is not necessarily a permanent break.  

Decisions pending

Most players will decline the qualified offer, as is the case every offseason. Judge and Turner, for example, are in line for massive contracts that figure to approach or even exceed $300 million. Accepting the $19.65 million qualifying offer was never a serious consideration for them.

Compensation for losing qualified free agent

Losing a qualifying free agent entitles the player’s former team to draft pick compensation, though the exact compensation depends on a few factors. First and foremost, if the player’s former team exceeded the $230 million competitive balance tax threshold in 2022, they will receive a compensation pick…

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