The 2020 MLB season ended with a World Series title for the Los Angeles Dodgers for the first time since 1988. While the Dodgers are just starting to unwind from their celebration, the wild and wacky free agency period has begun.
According to Mark Feinsand of MLB.com, the players are Trevor Bauer (Reds), Kevin Gausman (Giants), DJ LeMahieu (Yankees), J.T. Realmuto (Phillies), George Springer (Astros), and Marcus Stroman (Mets).
Clearly there are no surprise names on the list, with Springer and Realmuto the move obvious for their teams. Both players are likely to reject those offers. For example, the Phillies offered Realmuto $18.9 million for a single season (the minimum required for a qualifying offer), while arguably the best overall catcher in the league is looking for a long-term deal over around $20 million per year.
The players with a qualifying offer have a week and a half to either accept or decline. Those that reject will become free agents and the current team will receive draft picks compensation. Therefore, it was a no-brainer for the teams to submit a qualifying offer or risk losing the player for nothing in return.
Not all players are eligible to receive a qualifying offer. If the player was not with the same team for the entire 2020 season, he is ineligible. Also, players can only receive one qualifying offer in their careers, as was noted in the 2017-2012 collective bargaining agreement.
There were some notable players that surprisingly did not receive offers. Those include Didi Gregorious, who the Phillies plan to still keep in contact with through the free agency process. Houston’s Michael Brantley, Oakland’s Liam Hendriks and the Angels’ Andrelton Simmons did not receive qualifying offers. The number of qualifying offers issued is down by 40 percent from last year, which isn’t a huge shock given the extreme revenue losses this season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.