Six players will be extended qualifying offers this winter, reports Mark Feinsand of MLB.com (Twitter link). Those players are:
- Trevor Bauer, Reds RHP
- Kevin Gausman, Giants RHP (story)
- DJ LeMahieu, Yankees 2B
- J.T. Realmuto, Phillies C
- George Springer, Astros OF
- Marcus Stroman, Mets RHP (story)
None of the players issued the QO comes as a particular surprise. Bauer, LeMahieu, Realmuto and Springer were all easy calls for their respective teams. Each of that group will certainly reject the offer. Stroman and Gausman might’ve been tougher calls but had been reported previously.
More notable are the series of players who were not issued a QO. Astros outfielder Michael Brantley will hit the market unencumbered, as he did when he became a free agent two years ago. Oakland didn’t issue a QO to either of Marcus Semien or Liam Hendriks, while the Phillies and Angels decided against an offer for Didi Gregorius and Andrelton Simmons, respectively. The six players issued a qualifying offer is down from last offseason’s ten, which isn’t much of a surprise since this winter is expected to be particularly tough for players in the wake of teams’ pandemic-driven revenue losses.
The players issued the qualifying offer will now have ten days to weigh their options. Players who reject the offer and become free agents will cost their signing teams draft compensation (or the right to recoup draft compensation if they sign with their current team). Here is a full run-down of the qualifying offer rules this offseason.