Seven receive qualifying offer

A handful of prominent free agents are set to make big decisions regarding their status this offseason.

Teams had to extend prospective free agents a qualifying offer — a one-year contract worth $17.9 million (the mean salary of MLB’s 125 highest-paid players) — by 5 p.m. ET on Nov. 2, and seven players ultimately received the offer. Those players had 10 days to either accept the offer or reject it in search of a multi-year deal out in the market, and the deadline for that decision is approaching Monday at 5 p.m. ET.

A handful of prominent free agents are set to make big decisions regarding their status this offseason.

Teams had to extend prospective free agents a qualifying offer — a one-year contract worth $17.9 million (the mean salary of MLB’s 125 highest-paid players) — by 5 p.m. ET on Nov. 2, and seven players ultimately received the offer. Those players had 10 days to either accept the offer or reject it in search of a multi-year deal out in the market, and the deadline for that decision is approaching Monday at 5 p.m. ET.

In the six previous offseasons in which this system has been in place, only five (Brett Anderson, Jeremy Hellickson, Colby Rasmus, Neil Walker and Matt Wieters) of 73 players have accepted the qualifying offer.

The rules regarding Draft pick compensation for signing players who rejected QOs changed after the implementation of the new Collective Bargaining Agreement prior to the 2017 season, and the penalties for signing such players are less strict. A complete breakdown of those rules can be found here and below.

Here are the seven free agents who received the qualifying offer last week, and what Draft compensation their 2018 teams stand to receive if the players sign elsewhere. We will update this as we get news on whether or not players accepted the offer:

Astros – LHP Dallas Keuchel: Pick after Competitive Balance Round B

D-backs – LHP Patrick Corbin and OF A.J. Pollock:
A) If either player signs for at least $50 million: Pick between 1st round and Competitive Balance Round A
B) If either player signs for less than $50 million: Pick after Competitive Balance Round B

Dodgers – C Yasmani Grandal and LHP Hyun-Jin Ryu: Pick after Competitive Balance Round B

Nationals – OF Bryce Harper: Pick after Round 4

Red Sox – RHP Craig Kimbrel: Pick after Round 4

Qualifying-offer rules explained
The current Collective Bargaining Agreement rules state that if the team that loses the free agent is a revenue-sharing recipient, based on its revenues and market size, then the selection — if and only if the lost player signs for at least $50 million — will be awarded a pick between the first round and Competitive Balance Round A of the 2019 MLB Draft. If the player signs for less than $50 million, the compensation pick for those teams would come after Competitive Balance Round B, which follows the second round.

The following 16 teams currently qualify for these picks: A’s, Braves, Brewers, D-backs, Indians, Mariners, Marlins, Orioles, Padres, Pirates, Rays, Reds, Rockies, Royals, Tigers and Twins.

If the team that loses the player does not receive revenue sharing and did not exceed the luxury-tax salary threshold the previous season, its compensatory pick will come after Competitive Balance Round B. The value of the player’s contract doesn’t matter in this case. The 12 clubs that fall into this category are the Angels, Astros, Blue Jays, Cardinals, Cubs, Dodgers, Giants, Mets, Phillies, Rangers, White Sox and Yankees.

If the team that loses the player went over the luxury-tax threshold, the compensation pick will be placed after the fourth round has been completed (as with the previous scenario, it doesn’t matter how much the player signs for). The only two clubs that exceeded the threshold in 2018 are the Nationals and Red Sox.

Matt Kelly is a reporter for MLB.com based in New York. Follow him on Twitter at @mattkellyMLB.